Worry . . or not.

“When we get to Heaven we will ask, Why did I worry so much?

–From my notes from church

Helping out with a kid’s craft, one little girl kept asking me and the other teacher over and over, “Do you like it?  Do you like it?  Do you like it?”  She could not find the reassurance she was looking for, no matter how many times the answer was affirmative.  The irony?  She planned to give the art to her mother.  But she kept asking two teachers who would never see her art again if they liked it.

Worry drives us to do a lot of things we wouldn’t do if we weren’t worried.

Women stay with men who beat them because they worry they will never find true love if they leave.  The tragedy is, they haven’t found true love at all.

Teens text when they drive because they are worried they might miss out on a conversation, or what will happen if they don’t respond right away.  The tragedy is, they might miss out on the rest of their lives.

Men interrupt their family’s dinner or walk out of their child’s ballgame to answer a cell phone because they worry they might lose their job, or slip down the social ladder.  The tragedy is, they might miss out on moments of their family’s lives that can never be replaced.

Twenty-somethings load up their credit cards because they worry what might happen to them if they don’t have something they want instantly.

Worry causes us to do many things we would not do if we were thinking with a clear head.   There’s a reason people write about worry “clouding” someone’s mind.  It’s hard to think clearly with all that worry going around, and we are way more likely to make choices that are irrational or poorly thought through or even dangerous.

Worry doesn’t keep us sensible or safe–so why do we worry?  For me, anyway, it’s usually about wanting more than what I have control over.  But Jesus commands us not to worry.

Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? (Matthew 6:25, NIV)

Here Jesus tells us at least five things not to be worried about

  • your life
  • what you will eat
  • what you will drink
  • your body
  • what you will wear

And the rest of things (like world poverty, epidemics, governments, sex trafficking, and wars) we are to lay at the feet of God and take up our basin and washcloth to begin serving.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. (Philippians 4:6, NIV)

But how, how, do you stop worrying?

You have to know that God is love and you have to belong to that love.  That is the only possible way.

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