That’s impossible, my mother will say. I know it’s hard to keep worry at a distance, but it’s NOT impossible. Besides, if there are so many drawbacks, why do we do it? I’m sure you’ve heard from professionals and non-professionals alike that most of what we worry about never happens. Do you like how you feel when you’re worried about something? To me, it’s an upsetting and highly stressful emotion I’m better off without. It’s normal to have a few opening-night jitters, but come on…vomiting all over Rose’s dress? Let’s examine the reasons we worry, and then we can figure out how to stop this unproductive and mostly useless behavior.
- We worry because we don’t like unfortunate surprises. We believe that if we worry enough, we can prevent bad things from happening to us. The problem with this line of thinking is that we can’t see into the future no matter how much we pay Madame Murcha to look deeply into her crystal ball on our behalf. It simply isn’t there. The only one who knows our future is God. It’s better to just let Him deal with it and leave the consequences to Him.
- We worry because we want to manage or to control a situation that is uncontrollable. We play the What If game over and over in our mind hoping to rid ourselves of some uncertainty as relates to our job, our mate, or our family member. How about playing the What’s the Worst That Could Happen game instead? Go ahead. Play it out until the very end. You’ll find the worst that could happen isn’t really that bad at all. I do this and find myself laughing at the end. I really do!
- We worry because we care. So if we don’t worry, does that mean we don’t care? Are we worrying and fretting aimlessly, or are we actually doing something to help the situation? There’s a big difference here.
- We worry because we don’t want to be unaware of potential dangers that might come our way. We’d feel guilty becoming too comfortable with life. How about we enjoy the moment and let things happen as they will. They will happen you know, whether we worry or not. Trust me.
- We worry because it helps us solve problems. If we worry enough, the wedding will come off without a hitch. The presentation will be informative and entertaining and we’ll get that well-deserved raise. Worrying and having anxious episodes do nothing for your wedding prep or your work presentation except to provide you with diarrhea and perspiration stains under your expensive dress shirt. How about doing your homework by adequately preparing and then let it be what it will be?
“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? 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. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Matthew 6:25-34
But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk,
and not faint. Isaiah 40:31
Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand. Isaiah 41:10
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9