Today’s Scriptures: Lectionary selections from the Revised Common Lectionary Year C
Habakkuk 1:1-4, 2:1-4
2 Timothy 1:1-14
At my job we are in the middle of a major project that will extend into next year. To move forward to the next major step with one of my tasks, there was a significant amount of information I needed to gather and organize for analysis. One of our partners told me where I could find the information and I spent the better part of a day gathering it. When I began looking at the information I gathered, I realized that it was largely useless. My first response was to warn my department secretary that she may hear profanity coming from my office. After stepping back and taking a few deep breaths, I decided to mine the information for what was valuable. Most of what I was looking for was not there, but when I changed my attitude, I found some value in what I had. The scriptures today have us considering where we are focusing our energy. When we focus our energy in the right direction we find ourselves in the right place with God.
The prophet Habakkuk found himself in a land with much injustice and wickedness. The righteous recognized situation and sought God’s intervention. They wondered if God heard their cry and he sends a message through the prophet: it will come.
Psalm 3 helps us have that focus. It directs us to not be disturbed by the wicked, but instead focus on the Lord. The wicked and everything associated with them is temporary. The things of the Lord are eternal. When we let ourselves focus on the wickedness and wrongdoing, that is where our mind rests - and it opens us to those ideas and can lead to a separation from God.
Paul warns Timothy of the same thing. Do not be concerned with the things happening to him and challenged faced by the young church. He reminds Timothy of the generations of faith in his own family that came before him and the essential facts of faith on which he should focus and celebrate. Wickedness and greed are a part of the world as much as faith and generosity. Choosing to dwell on the activities of faith keep us in the righteous path with our Lord.
Jesus says basically the same thing to the apostles. They asked for more faith and he assured them they had sufficient faith to accomplish anything they wanted. They perceived Christ’s faith as something to be desired, but did not recognize the faith they have within themselves. His direction to them was, learn how to manage what you have. He wanted them to remember all the things they were able to do in his name instead of focusing only on the things he had done.
Having our mind in the right place makes all the difference in our connection to God. The world around us holds so many distractions that it is easy to find ourselves looking at them, frustrated by all that is going on. When we are willing to give up any control we think we have over the evil in the world and focus on the things we are able to do through our faith, the more at peace and right with the Lord we will be. Avoiding being drawn into the wrong is challenging, but we have the tools to do it - Jesus told us we did; we just have to make the best of what we have and we will be astonished at what can happen.
Revised Common Lectionary Daily Readings, copyright © 2005 Consultation on Common Texts. www.commontexts.org