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SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 8, 2007
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Rev. Edwin Jenkins

Finding the antidote to a life of wishing and worrying

During childhood days and carrying over even into adulthood, many of us play the “wishing game.” You know how it works. There are numerous variations, but the idea is, “If you had three wishes, what would you wish for?”

While we may pretend that we have outgrown such fantasies, our actions often demonstrate otherwise. We wish for this and we wish for that. Sometimes our wishing is harmless, as long as we keep it in bounds. Sometimes our wishing can even be healthy if it helps us maintain a positive attitude.

So what would you wish for if you had those three wishes? Explore the possibilities for a moment. Would you ask for riches? What about health? Perhaps you would answer with the often-repeated beauty pageant standard, world peace.

Now, I am not trying to tease you or to be sarcastic in any way. But I would like to propose another avenue for personal fulfillment. The greatest teacher of all time offered an approach to life that supersedes the “wishing to make it so” system.

He reminded us that, ultimately, wishing doesn’t bring fulfillment. He expressed clearly that worrying about the matters of life brings no benefit. Worrying can’t provide food or clothing, he said. Nor can we add to our height by wishing we could be taller. (Take it from me, if that could add inches to my height, I would not be 5 feet 41/2 inches tall today.)

By now you have discerned that the great teacher about whom I share is no one less than Jesus of Nazareth. Allow me to share his antidote to living a life of worry and, perhaps, a life of wishing.

He taught that if we “seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, everything we need will come to us” (my paraphrase and expression of Matthew 6:33). It is quite simple, actually. If we seek God and his will first, we will not need to wish or to worry. God will take care of every need we have.

Sounds like a good deal to me. Let’s try it.

The Rev. Edwin Jenkins, pastor of Athens First Baptist Church, is one of several local ministers writing religion columns for The Daily. For more information, call Melanie Smith at 340-2468.

Rev. Edwin Jenkins Rev. Edwin Jenkins

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