Everything We Need to Survive, God Put on Auto-pilot

Here's an exercise for you: take conscious control of your breathing. OK now, in (2,3,4) and out (2,3,4.) And in (2,3,4) and out (2,3,4.) Got that down pat? Good. If you are starting to get dizzy, stop trying and go back to automatic. Let's move on now to heartbeat. Lub dub, lub dub, lub dub...Got that one? Don't stop breathing now (in 2,3,4, out 2,3,4) Lub dub, lub dub. So far, so good. But we need nourishment, so it's time to digest our food. Rumble, gurgle, rumble, gurgle. Breathe 2,3,4 and heartbeat Lub dub lub dub. I don't know about you, but all this is making me exhausted. Time to get some rest. So cue your brain to release all those sleepy- time chemicals, but don't forget to breathe, to make your heart beat, and to finish digesting that dinner you had.

I guess by now you can see where this is going, right? Our corporal bodies are complex beyond our wildest imaginings, created by a loving Father to anticipate and provide for every physical need. All of those functions so necessary to our survival on this earth, breathing, circulating oxygen-rich blood to our cells, deriving nourishment from our food, becoming thirsty, sleeping, feeling pain when we have some damage...all of these are mechanisms our Father put in place for our well-being. Because if we had to stop and think about each of those functions, we'd never get anything else done. And we do have other things that we ought to be doing.

You might want to step outside for this next exercise. Look around you. Everything you need for survival in this natural world is provided. Sunshine and rain for growing crops, plants and animals for food and clothing, wood and stone to build a shelter. It's all here. If it wasn't, the history of humans would have been very short. But here comes our Heavenly Father again, knowing in advance what we need and providing with open-handed love and generosity. Because, after all, once we are fed, sheltered and clothed, we do have other things we ought to be doing.

Our loving God has given us everything, internal and external, that we need. His blueprints, His design, free us to do what we were created to do: to seek Him, to know Him, to love Him with all our strength. That's our purpose, and all the other "stuff," the breathing, the digesting, the sleeping, all of those gifts enable us to fulfill our purpose. If we had to think about all those mechanical things, how could we do what we are supposed to be about: worshipping Him and taking care of each other?  We wouldn't have time to build our relationship with God. We wouldn't have time to respect the rights of each person to food, shelter, clothing, healthcare and education.  We wouldn't have time to ensure that each individual's spiritual, physical, emotional , and  mental needs are being met. We wouldn't be able to act as responsible stewards of the environment so that, when the time comes, we can hand it back to God in the same condition we got it in.

The Easter season readings from the Acts of the Apostles give us a pretty detailed account of God's world view.  The apostles understand their purpose. The early Christian community understands the relationship between spiritual goods and earthly goods. They know what God wants them to do, and they are confident that  He has given them every tool necessary to accomplish it. Their love and respect for one another leap off the page of that book.

So maybe the next time we sense something amiss in ourselves (yes, that's right, conscience is another one of those auto-pilot functions) we can pause. We can think about our purpose, and how perfectly God has designed us to be able to fulfill it. And if what we are doing isn't mapping to that purpose, we can know that He has given us everything we need to make that course correction. Because, after all, that's the only part we really have to think about.

 

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