Long before The Beatles sang Free as a Bird, the idea has long been a part of the human story. We want to soar above the tree line and be wild and free in God’s bautiful creation. How many children have probably said, “I want to fly like the birds, mommy.” In fact, I would best the Wright brothers were inspired by birds in their pursuit to fly. But let’s face it…even when we do strap ourselves to something that can assist us in this endeavor, it’s a bit more complicated than the birds.
Just as the beautiful idea of flight has inspired many, beauty is something that has inspired quite a few others. The lily for instance is serene and simple in it’s beauty. There are entire gardens devoted to displaying lilies. They are used in weddings and they are a reminder in Easter-tide of the Lily of the Valley. Though children may not often say, “I want to be as beautiful as the lily,” the beauty of creation in general has transfixed many of us.
So of the three items mentioned in my title, which one does not belong? The Ball and Chain, you say? Are you sure? You mean a heavy black ball tethered to your leg is not desireable? Interesting. I wonder then why we decide to carry them around or drag them along so much.
22Then Jesus said to his disciples: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. 23Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. 24Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! 25Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life[b]? 26Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?
27″Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 28If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith! 29And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. 30For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. 31But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.
Luke 12.22-31(NIV, italics added)
Carrying our worries around is quite cumbersome and taxing…kinda like having a large metal ball attached to your leg with a chain.
Here’s to ditching the ball and chain!