Leaving the Eagerness Behind

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:6-7

The title of this message may seem like an impossible mission to many. The eagerness has become the engine of modern society. Life runs much faster every day. We want immediate results. When we move from one place to another, we would like to use the Star Trek transporter instead of our cars because we consider traffic to move very slowly. In Philippians 4:6-7, the apostle Paul invites us to leave behind the eagerness and tells us what we would get if we do so.

Many years ago I met Porfirio, whom I worked for a while in Puerto Rico. This man looked like a hybrid of octopus and kangaroo, with eight arms and jumping from one side to another. Porfirio worked as a supervisor of a well-known manufacturer of solar heaters; but he operated from his own office. There, in addition to having a group of sellers of solar heaters, he was engaged in other tasks, including selling promotional products for business.

When I started working for him, he was thinking about how to add to his lines of business, to be a general construction contractor. When he realized that I had studied engineering, he took me to work in the office to help him develop his idea of construction. That does not mean that Porfirio stopped doing everything else. He was always struggling because he needed 50-hour days in order to accomplish everything he had set out to do. His eagerness gave him fruit for a while and he certainly succeeded.

With the construction things started walking very well, I helped him to elaborate a system that worked to perfection. We had a database of workers from different areas, we got the contracts, we negotiated the best price with the workers and we executed the work. There was always profit and Porfirio would kill himself on the street looking for new clients while I was in charge of the negotiations from the office.

After a while I realized the reason Porfirio had to be anxious to make more and more money. His reason was his addiction to gambling, which led him to risk all the money he had in his pockets at the casinos. When he lost everything, he tried harder to find money. The problem became more acute when he used the money that the construction clients gave him to play because, when he lost it, he did not have to buy materials or pay the workers. In the end, everything collapsed, lost to his family and fled to the other side.

Like this story there may be many, we hide something dark within our eagerness; but the worst of all is that we exclude God from our decisions in the daily struggle to obtain daily bread. The passage of Philippians is an invitation to replace our eagerness to go before God with our requests. If we go in prayer to our Heavenly Father before undertaking each thing, surely we would stop living with the rope around our neck. It is better to expose our plans to Him and to wait for His approval than to plunge into our eagerness and then to ask Him for help when we sink into the waters of despair. God bless you.

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