Thursday, February 17, 2011

Thoughts about Worrying

Do you ever worry?

No, wait, that's probably a dumb question. I've never met someone who didn't worry at some time or another. So let me rephrase.

Do you ever spend what seems an excessive amount of time worrying?

I sure do. I worry about a lot of things. Money, relationships, projects to complete, people in trouble, past mistakes... there's always something to fret about. Which in my case is really kind of weird because I don't consider myself the sort of person who sits around and broods about things. I mean, I do, but it's not natural for me. I'd far rather look at life with joy and excitement than with worry.

I've been reading Jesus's Sermon on the Mount this week and wow, what a fantastic passage of Scripture that is. In fact, it's probably one of my absolute favorites. It's just full of so many important things for daily living. They're clearly stated, and somehow I find them so encouraging to read. (Why is that? Why does reading them make me so happy? Feel so safe?)

Yesterday I was reading Jesus's words on anxiety. The whole passage is wonderful, but I'm just going to quote the very last verse here.

"Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble." Matthew 6:34

That doesn't mean that we can always just stop worrying. Worrying is both a habit and often both a symptom and cause of depression and it can be a lifelong battle to defeat.

But what I find encouraging is that Jesus says we really don't have to worry. I think sometimes we maybe feel that if we don't worry and think about what could go wrong in the future, we're somehow being careless and irresponsible. And while being prepared is good, there is such a thing as overdoing it, and I think that is what Jesus is talking about here. Do what you can do, then leave it rest, because over thinking it is only going to make you sick (and certainly not, as Jesus points out in earlier passages, add a single day to your life!).

No comments: