“Therefore, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your Heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not MUCH MORE VALUABLE than they?” Matthew 6:25-33
Then, Jesus talked about the flowers of the fields, which are dressed in splendor, even more beautiful than the clothes of King Solomon, the richest man who ever lived on this earth.
Then, He said, instead of worrying, seek His Kingdom, “But seek first his Kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Matthew 6:33. Telling us not to worry and giving the birds and flowers as examples, is not easy to follow and so easy to dismiss as another one of those passages only theologians can understand. Besides, birds are birds and flowers are flowers while people are people. Why do we see people more destitute than birds and can’t even buy food and clothing? So, what exactly do they have that we have to learn from?
Lest we leave this as another deep theology intended for bible scholars, here is an illustration which I believe is the reason why the Lord used them as examples. Birds, flowers and other living things, perform important roles in the ecosystem designed by God. Birds are engaged in seed dispersal, feeding on fruits and then expelling their seeds miles away. That is how plants are propagated all over the earth. Without them, there are no forest cover. Those forest trees breathe in carbon dioxide which causes pollution and expels them as oxygen which humans and other living beings need in order to live. The system did not just evolve as some scientists would like us to believe, but has been designed and put in place by God for life to sustain itself. If they stop performing their role, they and the next generation after them will starve and die.
Flowers, on the other hand, do not just add beauty to God’s creation. They provide food for pollinators, like bees and butterflies who in turn help those plants reproduce through a process called pollination. In other words, they are just performing their function according to how God uniquely designed them. They are not working in order to survive, but to be what they were created for. They complement and help one another thrive. We too, valuable in God’s sight, are uniquely designed and have special roles to play that make us thrive and help others thrive.
All these should awe and inspire us towards desiring that God bring us to our own unique purpose and make others thrive as we ourselves thrive. This may sound like an unattainable goal for some, who can’t see God’s plan in the midst of their struggle to make ends meet. But that is exactly the starting point. God wants us to believe and desire something more from God. God will not offer something that He Himself cannot accomplish for us. If we believe and are willing, God will not only provide for us, but will bring us to a journey towards that place, where we will not worry about food and clothing and all the stuff we worry about. We are designed by God to thrive and if we are willing, He will see to it that we serve our purpose. Just like birds who have to be birds and not bees to serve their purpose, we too have to be what we were created to be.
But, for God to add to us all those things that we seek, first, seek His Kingdom and His righteousness, because it is our Father’s good pleasure to give us His Kingdom (Luke 12:32). That is where all those things we ask for will be added to us. If we seek those things that are supposed to be added, instead of the kingdom, we will be like a dog chasing his tail. We don’t have to exploit, or step on people to get those. We don’t need the applause of men. We just have to be what God created us to be. You were placed on this planet for a purpose. Nobody is good enough to be you except you.
What are you seeking now that will be added to you if you seek His kingdom?