Today’s Scripture Selection: Psalm 39:6

“Man is a mere phantom as he goes to and fro: He bustles about, but only in vain; he heaps up wealth, not knowing who will get it.”

Care is a funny word.

Used one way – it has to do with the way we lovingly watch out over one another; or the way God does that for us.

Used another way – and it refers to the very things that keep us from lovingly watching out over one another; or the way we block our connection to the God who wants to do that.

In this Psalm – it is the latter use of the word on which we focus.  It speaks of the cares of the world when it describes a man (or woman) as a “mere phantom” who “bustles about.”

Worldly care like that can do you in – literally.

What is the solution?  The Psalmist has it:

“But now, Lord, what do I look for?  My hope is in you.”

There it is – the way to overcome worldly care.  We are to keep our focus on God.  Or, as the beautiful old hymn puts it, “keep your eyes upon Jesus.”

Do that – and the cares of the world just “fade away”; kind of like a “mere phantom.”

The choice is ours.  Rush about – perhaps temporarily adding to the bank account – but doing nothing to grow truly wealthy, spiritually speaking.

Or we can look for God’s way and follow it.

The cares of the world – the care of God – which would you rather have on your mind and in your heart?

Prayer: Lord, open my eyes to understand and sense your ever present love.  AMEN.


By Paul Simrell

The Reverend Paul W. Simrell has served for over thirty years in a variety of congregational and institutional settings. He is a recognized minister with standing in the Virginia region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada and is nationally endorsed by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for specialized ministry in both pastoral counseling and chaplaincy. Ordained in 1982, he has served congregations in Kentucky, Texas, Florida, and Virginia. He currently serves as the pastor of Elpis Christian Church, a small, historic congregation located just a few miles west of Richmond, Virginia. Elpis is the Greek word meaning “expectant hope.” He also serves on the associate clinical staff of the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care, Richmond, Virginia, both as a pastoral counselor and a ministerial assessment specialist, specializing in executive, clergy and relationship coaching. He is a graduate of the University of Florida and Lexington Theological Seminary and has done advanced clinical training in chaplaincy and pastoral counseling at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky, Children’s Medical Center and Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas and the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care in Richmond, Virginia. He is a Certified Pastoral Counselor, an ACPE Practitioner, and a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors. He is a Certified Facilitator of the Prepare-Enrich relationship assessment and skills-building program and served as a volunteer chaplain for over twenty years with the CJW Medical Center campuses in Richmond, Virginia. His avocational interests include playing the piano and drawing. He is very happily married to his wife Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell, a free-lance writer, who is also a Certified Facilitator for the Prepare-Enrich program. Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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