DON’T BE CARRIED TO AND FRO
“And do not seek what you are to eat and what you are to drink, and do not be of anxious mind (καὶ μὴ μετεωρίζεσθε)...“ (Lk 12: 29)
The Greek expression used here for “do not be anxious of mind“ (μὴ μετεωρίζεσθε, me meteor-izesthe) literally means “do not float in mid-air,“ or be raised up and carried to and fro (like a meteor)! In other words, – Be grounded, Jesus is saying, in your here and now. It is a vital message for me in our Internet Age, when “virtual reality“ online carries me to and fro, from story to story. And can also distract me from my “vocation,“ which, among other things, brings me my “daily bread,“ or “what (I am) to eat and...to drink,“ in the sense of both physical and spiritual nourishment.
I started thinking about this passage after listening, just last night, to Tom Waits sing “Goodnight Irene.“ Sorry for the obscure reference, if you’ve never heard of this song, but here are the words of the song that inspired me: “Stop rambling, stop your gambling, / Stop staying out late at night, / Go home to your wife and your family, / Stay there by your fireside bright.”
So here’s the divine wisdom passed on to me both in Holy Scripture and in good music: to stay grounded, in the vocation I am given in the here and now. I say to myself today, “Go home to your wife and your family,” which is the Word of God and the rest of our beautiful Tradition, – and put aside the “rambling and gambling” of the rest of today’s disparate voices. Let me “not be of anxious mind,” carried to and fro by the news-sources of today, according to their various agendas, but “stay there by my fireside bright,” which is God’s Word. I re-connect with Him today, that I may not become anxious, and anchor-less, in merely-human rambling. I do the next right thing, according to my responsibilities or God-given ”vocation,” so I need not “seek” what I am “to eat or drink,” outside my here and now. I “go home,” where I belong.