Tuesday, December 2, 2008

What, Me Worry?

There are huge chunks of my life that are infected by worry. The truth is that all of this worry, really worries me. The issue that I am struggling with is that by allowing worry to control areas of my life, I am reducing God to the size of my biggest worry. To get around this limit to my piety, I tend to play silly games. I try to reclassify my feelings. Oh, it's not worry that I am dealing with, it's concern, it's grieving a loss, it's self-pity. Thinking about it, I find that I tend not to worry too much about things that I view as more under my control, things that directly depend on my actions, my effort, my words. These I am very comfortable praying about and then handling. What really churns in my heart, my mind, and my gut are those things that are totally out of my control. Those things that are contingent on the actions of others. I pray over and over again, I can pray until I am sick of the sound of my own voice, but I never really turn it over to God. I hold onto it tightly. I am fearful that I really have let the size of my problems define the size of my God.

There are some relevant notes in scripture that folks like to point to about worry.

  • Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Matthew 6:27;
  • Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:34;
  • Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7.

While I do appreciate these verses, especially those from Philippians, I think that my favorite comes from Charles Swindoll. In this book, So You Want to be Like Christ?, he provides this simple prayer: Lord, this is your problem to fix. You take control. Let me know what you want me to do if I'm to be involved in the solution. By leaving it with you, I will consider it solved. Amen.