Charlie's Blog: The Illusion of Security


The Illusion of Security

And he said to them: Take heed and beware of all covetousness; for a man's life doth not consist in the abundance of things which he possesseth.

Security is an illusion. Your life can be altered or ended in an instant by events that you cannot foresee. I know this from personal experience. The rich man's life can be ruined by nothing other than a fool playing on his smartphone behind the wheel of his car. The well-crafted life that man built can be turned to ruin in an instant in a car crash rendering him disabled for the rest of his life. Or, he could be killed in the accident. A prepper anticipating the zombie apocalypse stocks up his provisions and prepares his off grid cabin only to watch it go up in flames from a faulty lithium ion battery connected to his solar panels. The lesson from these examples is that your life rests purely in the hands of God.

Jesus gives us a lesson on these things in Luke 12 especially with the parable of the rich fool. Here it is:
And he spoke a similitude to them, saying: The land of a certain rich man brought forth plenty of fruits. And he thought within himself, saying: What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? And he said: This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and will build greater; and into them will I gather all things that are grown to me, and my goods. And I will say to my soul: Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years take thy rest; eat, drink, make good cheer. But God said to him: Thou fool, this night do they require thy soul of thee: and whose shall those things be which thou hast provided?
So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich towards God. And he said to his disciples: Therefore I say to you, be not solicitous for your life, what you shall eat; nor for your body, what you shall put on. The life is more than the meat, and the body is more than the raiment. 
This passage can be interpreted and misinterpreted in many ways. The grossest misinterpretation of this passage would be for people to abandon prudence and live like a drunken gambler in a Las Vegas casino. This would be the folly of the Cyrenaics who eat and drink and make merry because there is no tomorrow.

Another gross misinterpretation of this passage is to abandon prudence and become lazy in the expectation that God will provide everything. People neglect that God usually provides through secondary means, and one of those means is you. And He may let you starve to teach you the lesson to not be lazy.

The correct interpretation of this passage is to realize that your entire life is directed by God. Your relationship with God and the state of your soul are the most supremely important things in your life. Your life depends upon God. If God prospers you, this is Providence. And if God takes it away, this is also Providence.

Security is the illusion that you can build a life that is not dependent upon God. It is self-delusion because you cannot even control your own body. Right now, a blood clot may be traveling to your brain that will paralyze a side of your body or even kill you. What good are all your plans then?

The epistle of St. James gives us the proper mindset to have in regards to our plans:
Behold, now you that say: Today or tomorrow we will go into such a city, and there we will spend a year, and will traffic, and make our gain.Whereas you know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is a vapour which appeareth for a little while, and afterwards shall vanish away. For that you should say: If the Lord will, and if we shall live, we will do this or that. 
We should make plans and live as we have always lived in that regard doing our work and living prudently. But we must also live by the caveat that all we do depends upon the Lord's will. Nothing happens to us except by God's direction.

The problem is that people never think about God. They never think about their souls or make provisions for their eternal destinies. Or, they forget about God usually in their prosperity or their anxiety about things. In the long stretches of time and eternity, our present world is but a mere blip and our lives are just a speck on that blip.

The proper attitude to have is the one Jesus told us to have. Put first the kingdom and righteousness. Take care of your souls. Here are our Lord's words on the matter:
But seek ye first the kingdom of God and his justice, and all these things shall be added unto you. Fear not, little flock, for it hath pleased your Father to give you a kingdom. Sell what you possess and give alms. Make to yourselves bags which grow not old, a treasure in heaven which faileth not: where no thief approacheth, nor moth corrupteth. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. Let your loins be girt, and lamps burning in your hands. 
What does putting the kingdom first look like? I have taken wisdom from an Amish man who said that if you read the newspaper each morning then you will think like the newspaper each morning. But if you read the Bible each morning, then you will think like the Bible. I think you should read both the Bible and that newspaper with the Bible dictating your thoughts about what you read in that newspaper.

People with the illusion of security think they have all of their problems solved while those with anxiety think they can get to a place of security where all of their problems will be solved. Both are stupid. There is no end to problems in this life.

You should get up each day and say your prayers and read the Bible. Then, go to work for that day. Finally, you should come home and forget your cares for awhile as you return to those prayers. Your problems will be waiting for you again tomorrow. Cast your cares upon the Lord. Provide for your body but also provide for your soul. As long as your soul is covered, that is what truly matters. But if your soul is lost, nothing else matters. Obey God and take it all one day at a time.