Some things change and some things never change. I recall this line of dialogue from The Matrix Reloaded, which had some good elements in a mass of narrative confusion. It rings true in this moment in time. I am no longer single, so this impacts my standing before the federal, state, and local governments. My social status is now in a different realm than as a single man. When I go home, there is another person to engage life with each evening. Decisions must take into account my spouse. She is first line so to speak; although, on the other hand, this line does not exist in any real or imagined way. My wife is definitely first on my mind and in my heart out of all people on this earth. She is second to our Lord, but she adopts the same mindset. Much has changed in my life due to marriage.
If I am honest with myself, and this is something that I aspire to embrace daily, then I must confess that there exist things unchanged as a result of marriage. My relationship with the Lord forms the core of my life and being. I am still a morning person, who loves drinking tea to start the day. Hiking is a definite passion of mine, which has intensified because of marriage. The same is true with respect to writing. In fact, my wife kept hounding me to start a blog in order to write as we dated last year. She saw this immense passion in me to use words and ideas as a means to share with others what God has shown me. Her goal had been to light a fire in me to create the outlet for the water to flow rather than grow stagnant. Thanks to her, the geyser has not stopped flowing.
I could have used other words in place of everyday such as mundane or ordinary. The former is too pessimistic and the latter is too neutral. Everyday seems to capture the truth of ordinary without an undue sense of neutrality while eschewing the pessimism of mundane. Life is to be lived day to day, one step at a time. In the sermon on the mount, Jesus commands the gathered and his disciples “…[to] not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble” (Matthew 6:34, ESV). Here is the same scripture text from a different translation:
“So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own” (Matt. 6:34, NASB).
First off, volumes of books and journal articles have been published on the sermon on the mount. Am I about to say anything new or fresh as this particular verse relates to the everyday happenings of a married man? I am not so arrogant as to think or believe that about myself. All I do know is that Matt. 6:34 popped into my mind as I considered what to write about for today’s post. In many ways, this verse makes very little sense apart from the previous one. Jesus exhorts the crowd and the disciples in the thirty-third verse about seeking God’s Kingdom and his righteousness. Those two things are to be my top two priorities in all that I do and say; therefore, I am able to engage in life anxiety-free, worry-free. It is a principle of following Christ, which is wholly counterintuitive to our human experience.
Is it possible for me live anxiety-free or worry-free in my everyday married life? Given our Lord’s words in Matthew chapter six, I believe the answer is a resounding yes. The issue comes down to knowing and trusting the character of my Lord. It is clear throughout the entire sermon on the mount that Jesus knows the human experience and more importantly, the human condition. The ongoing battle for the crowd and his disciples had been to place themselves in the second position while reinstating God in the first. The only way anyone is ever capable of doing this with any degree of success is by virtue of being in Christ. He is the way, the truth, and the life. This means that my wife is second to our Lord. The minute I place her ahead of Christ, this begins the slow and steady rise of turmoil, anxiety, and worry. Lord, help me to put you first above all people, places, and things. Grant me an undivided heart and mind.