"And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin; yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O men of little faith?" (Matthew 6:28-30 RSV).
I think this passage from the Sermon on the Mount offers a perfect example of how we sometimes embrace the words of Jesus' teachings and ignore the radical spiritual power they represent. "Consider the lilies of the field …" is a phrase with which we are very familiar and quite comfortable. But it takes a greater effort to realize that Jesus is not just speaking poetically; he means what he says! The central theme of this passage can be found at verse 25: "Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life." He is speaking to people who have little, whose every day is a struggle for sufficiency. He realizes that they cannot embrace the spiritual Power within them if they continue to focus on lack and insufficiency in their lives. He assures them—in very real, practical terms—that if they simply put their faith and focus on God, God will provide for their human needs. We may say that's not realistic—our human needs must take priority. Few indeed are the people who have fully trusted this teaching and fully surrendered their human condition to their inner divinity. It requires much more than the faith of a mustard seed—and we have a hard time even managing that! But Jesus always, always meant what he said. The promise of this passage is always present for all of us. Our work is to remove the doubts and fears and false priorities, and trust our Oneness with God. Blessings!