There was a very nervous man who began pacing an airport terminal when bad weather delayed his flight. During his walk, he came across a life insurance machine. It offered $100,000 in the event of an untimely death aboard his flight. The policy was just three dollars. He looked out the window at the threatening clouds and thought of his family at home. For that price it was foolish not to buy, so he took out the coverage. He then looked for a place to eat. Most large airports n
ow carry a good variety of eateries, so he settled on one that offered his favorite, Chinese. It was a relaxing meal until he opened his fortune cookie. It read, “Your recent investment will pay big dividends.”
There are so many things we worry about these days aren’t there? We worry about our health, our family’s health, our abundance of material possessions, and our money (or our lack of money). If that wasn’t enough, we then turn on our televisions, computers, or phones and instantly find all sorts of additional things to worry about. We are inundated constantly with things that are beyond our control yet elevate our stress, anxiety, fear, and more increasingly our anger. The Bible is full of advice about the futility of worrying and the sinful things that can come from uncontrolled worry and fear. The crux of them all is that if you have faith in God, and you love God, then you must trust that God will take care of you. The prophet Jeremiah said “Blessed are
those who trust in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord. They shall be like a tree planted by water, sending out its roots by the stream. It shall not fear when heat comes, and its leaves shall stay green; in the year of drought, it is not anxious, and it does not cease to bear fruit.” And let us not forget Jesus’ teaching about being like “the birds of the air” and “the flowers of the field” (Matt. 6:25-34). So how can we learn to worry less and have more trust in God’s plan? I’d like you to think about making these following things part of your daily life:
- Prayer. Yes, I know, the preacher said more prayer… no shocker there. But guess what? It really works! Prayer is as much or more about changing your perspective of events than changing events to match your perspective. I find that pausing momentarily throughout my day simply to give thanks to God, to ask God a question, or to plea to God very helpful. These aren’t long drawn-out prayers with all the fancy church words, they are like a quick exchange with your spouse in the morning “Hello, I love you, thank you for being with me, talk to you later.” I also find when things get really stressful 5-10 minutes of contemplative prayer (meditation) is extremely beneficial.
- Worry less about what you cannot directly control and more about what you can. There are so many things going on in the world that we wish we could just snap our fingers and stop. Things that we often cannot control like war, poverty, hunger, racism, etc. But we can control how we react to
these things, we can control how we interact with others, and we can control the example we set for others. Let compassion, Love, and Patience be your guide. The world will never change by worry, through force, or anger…it only will change through the way of thinking and acting that Jesus taught, the way of humility, service, and most importantly love.
- Finally, always keep in your mind that for every bad thing you see or hear, there are 100 good and beautiful things also…it’s just that good and beautiful doesn’t sell or “rally the base”. Guard those initial reactive emotions of fear and anger because there are those in this world who have become masters of manipulating people in this manner, usually for profit or power. As a Christian you have no reason to fear and a duty to be extremely selective and cautious with your an
ger. Again, as I have stated before, faith, compassion, love, and patience must be our guides.
So, in parting I leave you with the words of a song made famous by Bobby McFerrin:
Here's a little song I wrote You might want to sing it note for note Don't worry, be happy In every life we have some trouble But when you worry you make it double Don't worry, be happy Don't worry, be happy now
Love to Everyone,