You know that dog who keeps chasing his tail, never to catch it, but still continues to run in a circle trying? Sometimes, when it comes to worrying, I feel like I am that dog. Cute, of course. But cute with some questionable behavior!
I mean, we all know already that God has us in his hands. We know that we are supposed to give up our cares and worries to him. But, its not so easy, is it? IS IT?!
See, even right now... as I write this blog... it has me worrying that I worry too much. I've always been a worry wart. Personally, I think it was ingrained in me from childhood. My handsome dad... he was a worry wart, too. Therefore I am going to go with the idea that worrying is a genetic trait. Right? Right!
As a kid, I remember going on vacations -- back when families actually took road trips together. We would get a couple hours into our trip and my dad would have a momentary bout of worry. Id be half asleep in the backseat and I would hear him ask my mom, "Did we turn all the fans off?" or "Are you sure that sliding glass door was locked?" or, my favorite, "Dang it, I think forgot to take the garbage out!" If he didn't get the desired responses, he would silently beat himself up for not checking the fans or the door locks one last time, or for not taking the garbage out. How do I know he silently did this? Because about 2 days later he would, out of nowhere, say, "I cannot believe I didn't check to make sure those fans were turned off."
This continued throughout my life. I always appeared to be the unstable child who made him worry. Whether it was in my teens, finding my way in my 20's, or finally calming down in my mid-30s. It was a long, sketchy, winding, bumpy road, that I wont deny. And he worried. All the time. He would bring up something that I said or did two weeks ago. Why? Because he had been worrying about it the whole time. I would get frustrated with his constant focus on a worrisome topic and, at one point, he told me "I just cant talk to you because I always make you upset." (The reason? Part of me got annoyed sometimes that he worried over menial things. Who wants to keep being reminded about something they are trying to forget? The bigger, quiet part of me got mad at myself for making him worry... Yet, I did it time and again. I was upset with myself, not him. But, oh, how I wish I could take those days back now. I would listen to him talk all day. And all night. Anything he wanted to say. But, that is a story for another time.)
Back on point...
But, I think we butted heads so much because we are so much alike. In many ways... including... you guessed it... worrying. Yep, me. Guilty as charged. And, I am sure that I drive more than one person in my life crazy with it. But, hey, you cant mess with genetics!
Ok, ok, I will let the genetics assumption rest because, in reality, it doesn't matter where it comes from. Nobody should worry. Nobody should have a care or concern in the world. Why? Because we should be casting our cares on God -- Psalm 55:22 (NLT) says "Give your burdens to the Lord, and he will take care of you. He will not permit the godly to slip and fall." Or how about 1 Peter 5:7 (NLT), "Give all your worries or cares to God, for he cares about you."
It doesn't matter what you did or shouldn't have done or what is going to happen at work tomorrow or who is going to be at the party tonight. It doesn't matter. Plain and simple. Those are trivial little things (to be followed with a "#firstworldproblems" on social media nowadays) and they don't change any situation. They are worries that serve no great purpose or benefit.
I just realized that I am really just saying all of this for myself... because God knows, really, that this is one of my biggest flaws. I also just realized that I wish my dad had found peace in this to calm his worrying heart.
Remember the birds in Matthew? Come on, I know you have read it. Maybe even a dozen times...
Matthew 6:25-34 (NIV)
25 "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 than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds in the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
28 "And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 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? 31 So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' 32 For the Pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."
Look at that last line - Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. I mean, that is straight from the mouth of Jesus, so, uh... yeah. And I don't think it can get any clearer than that.
Remember -- God looks out for us. He has our back. He knows what we need before we even know. Or, rather, before we even have time to worry about it. Let this be a reminder - for you and me both - to HAVE FAITH that someone more powerful than you is steering your sails and there isn't a thing that worrying will change.
PRAY MORE, WORRY LESS.