Philippians 4:6-7: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
I don’t know if you listen to WTOP news radio or not. I know we do, because we are news junkies. And it seems as if the station is trying to turn us into traffic and weather junkies as well, by offering those bits of information every ten minutes, on the eights. I think you know about that, but I’ve noticed some things about this that give me pause. For one thing, it seems every time I turn the radio on, the traffic report begins. This is eerie—how do they know I’ll turn the radio on at the exact moment they give the traffic report? Have they hacked into my wi-fi? Do they have spies? What about reconnaissance satellites? All these are possibilities, so watch out!
What makes if worse is that I try not to drive in the areas I hear about on the radio. I don’t have to go far to get what I need, or I can order almost everything on line. So why do I listen to the traffic? Is it to feel sorry for the drivers stuck in horrid traffic jams? Is it a compulsion I can’t escape? Or do I want to avoid the worst routes when I am forced to go there? I tell you, I don’t know.
Then there’s news of the weather, and it makes sense to listen to that. However, I find that, with my limited attention span, I can’t remember what the meteorologists say about the forecast, particularly when they favor us with a four-day forecast. I tell myself I only have to wait ten minutes for another forecast, but the same thing happens. I’ve found all I have to do is to listen to people talk about the weather. (And I know, they don’t do anything about it.) I can remember the repeated forecast for a short time, but if I’m by myself, I just told you what happens. I can’t seem to win.
The point of all this is that anxiety drives our obsession with traffic and weather, as well as many other things. Jesus clearly told us not to be anxious, but that’s difficult when we try it by ourselves. However, we can rely on God for patience and protection under all circumstances. I’m sure you’re heard the stories of believers who overcame tremendous trials and used their suffering to point to faith in the Father. Praise God for God’s protection and comfort and for his sacrifice of his Son on the cross. Thanks to this, we don’t need to worry about anything, and that’s some of the best news I can think of. Amen.