I love the sound of flip-flops, because it means that summer is on the way. Right now, it’s that time of year when the cold air is swallowed up by the coming of spring. I love when the frosty evil sinks away periodically during the end of the winter months and gives way to a spring like day. People break free, shaking off the cold chill that has been sitting in their bones and skin, and they stretch forth out of their scarves and coats. They walk about happily, free even down to their toes that peer out of their flip-flops. I hear the rhythmic sounds of their shoes while I walk to my apartment and smile.
One day, I walked wearing my own flip-flops and new big red sunglasses. I opened my door only to be met by a sweltering whirl of manmade heat. I made my way to the kitchen, flipping the switch on the thermostat to “off” on the way. I yanked up the blinds and opened the window, letting in a cool, placid breeze. I left the lights off, letting the sun reach inside my apartment. I did the same in the living room, opening blinds and curtains and windows. I let the outside in. I allowed the wind to flow in and out of my home at will. I permitted the sun to creep in. I sat on my couch and watched, and I felt the day pour through my apartment. I closed my eyes, basking in the moment.
There’s something about this time of year that makes me understand why Jesus commands us not to worry. Life slows down, and I see that worry is nothing but a distraction that drives us to forget our purpose and our blessings. Matthew 6:25 says, "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life” (TNIV). It is simply stated but so difficult to accomplish. With the rush of every day life, it’s easy to forget this statement and get caught up in all that is pointless and unnecessary. But Jesus takes it further and gives us little reminders of what to do when we get caught up in our hectic lives.
Later on in verses 26-31 He tells us: “Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith?” (TNIV).
Yep, that’s me, “you of little faith.” So, I’ll sit on my couch, and I do what God tells me. I look at the flowers; I watch the birds. They seem to be just fine, and so am I.
Worry simply causes me to be ineffective and unproductive. While living a righteous life can get difficult, God is always prompting us to just slow down, to not worry and to live a little more simply. Right now, I am in the midst of graduating, finding a job, planning a wedding and still passing my classes. For the most part, I am in a constant blur of worry, anxiousness and “what ifs.”
Life seems to be coming at me quickly, and I sometimes feel so unprepared for it all. I forget to just take the time to be still and know that God is God. I forget that He has equipped me with everything I need. When I worry about my life, the world around me becomes a blur. I do not notice the blueness of the sky or how a particular cloud is shaped. I do not see the tiny, delicate flowers in the grass as I walk to class. I do not see that my friend seems to be having a bad day or that the homeless man on the corner has a beautiful smile.
But today is different. Today is how I want to live every day of my life. All I want to do is just enjoy God. I want to sit on my couch with the breeze and the sun and talk to Him like a good friend over a glass of lemonade. I want to thank Him for all the good things in my life: the warm air and the coming summer and the sound that flip-flops make.