Words of Light and Hope, Epiphany 3 (22nd January 2023)
Love & Anxiety
We come with our own passions and areas of expertise.
We come filled with hope – and maybe sadness and anguish too.
We come with hearts full, wanting to facilitate change.
This reflection is based on the words of Mark Yaconelli – an American
youth worker and speaker – in his book ‘Contemplative Youth
Ministry’, in which he speaks about our driving force for mission – is it
anxiety or love We know that there isn’t a ‘magic bullet’ to fix
problems, but, in a time when it feels as though anxiety is dominant
and a driving force in decision making and change, can we each lay
aside our bias and personal agendas, and operate from love –
embracing the freedom that it brings?
You are invited to think upon these words:
Anxiety versus Love.
Anxiety seeks control (How do I make things happen?)
Love seeks contemplation. (How can I be present in my relationships?)
Anxiety seeks professionals (Who is the expert that can solve the problem?)
Love seeks processes (What can we do together to uncover the best path?)
Anxiety wants products (What book, or curriculum will teach?)
Love desires presence (Who will be the model?)
Anxiety lifts up gurus (Who has the charisma to draw others?)
Love relies on guides (Who has the gifts for living alongside others?)
Anxiety rests in results (How many have committed and made the grade?)
Love rests in relationships (Who are those we have befriended?)
Anxiety seeks conformity (Are people meeting our expectations?)
Love brings out creativity. (In what fresh way are we challenging and being challenged?)
Anxiety wants activity (What will keep people busy?)
Love brings awareness (What are the real needs to be met?)
Anxiety seeks answers (Here’s what we think. Here’s what we need.)
Love seeks questions (What do you think? Or as Jesus said, ‘Who do you say I am?’)
In summary – Anxiety drives people apart:
It forces false wedges between hearts that are after the same thing and breeds a sense of needing to get instead of give. It fails to acknowledge anything bigger than ourselves at work.
It creates an attitude of division and ownership instead of cooperation, networking, and communal support. So, let’s love by giving, by being generous, by contributing.