Pause

I worried a lot. Will the garden grow, will the rivers flow in the right direction, will the earth turn as it was taught, and if not how shall I correct it?

Was I right, was I wrong, will I be forgiven, can I do better?

Will I ever be able to sing, even the sparrows can do it and I am, well, hopeless …

from “I Worried” by Mary Oliver (2010)

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Listen

Some people were talking about the temple, how it was decorated with beautiful stones and ornaments dedicated to God. Jesus said, “As for the things you are admiring, the time is coming when not even one stone will be left upon another. All will be demolished.”

They asked him, “Teacher, when will these things happen? What sign will show that these things are about to happen?”

Jesus said, “Watch out that you aren’t deceived. Many will come in my name, saying, ‘I’m the one!’ and ‘It’s time!’ Don’t follow them.”

Luke 21:5-8

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Think

Imagine you’re standing in the most beautiful cathedral in the world. One that is not just an architectural marvel, but one also filled with valuables. As breathtaking as this cathedral is, it is not going to last. As much as we’d like them to stay eternal, earthly temples fall and crumble into the dust.

It's not only the physical temples that fall and crumble, but also all kinds of temples that we set up in our minds. For example, we make temples out of our ideal physical appearance, temples out of others' opinions of us – temples meant to honor many meaningless earthly things.

I’m sorry to say that, as much time as we’ve put into building these temples, they ain’t going to last, my friends. The love of Jesus is the only thing that is true and eternal. While we wait to see how that love plays out for us, it's our duty as Christians to raze the temples we have created in our lives and put that work to good, in the name of Jesus.

Will Oxford

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Pray

Lord, I put so many things in my life before you… things that I know really don’t matter and don't last. Help me realize what is true and good and right in this world. Amen.

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Go

… Finally I saw that worrying had come to nothing.
And gave it up. And took my old body
and went out into the morning,
and sang.

from “I Worried” by Mary Oliver (2010)

Will Oxford

Will Oxford lives in New Haven, CT with his wife Heidi and their two beautiful cats. Will works at a local grocery store, ministering to the people of the world by being a smiling face and listening ear, as well as serving up free cups of coffee.

Kinderszenen, Op. 15: 7. Träumerei

Garry Bailey

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