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Thursday, April 22, 2010

Don't Worry

How often does the Bible tell us not to worry. "Fear not." "Do not worry." "Do not fear." I heard the number once, but I don't remember it. It was a lot. God says it. Angels say it. Jesus says it. Seems important.

I once complained if God didn't want us to worry so much, He shouldn't have given us the ability to anticipate future events. I mean, if we're supposed to emulate the birds and flowers, why did He give us bigger brains? Then I remembered we were the ones who wanted knowledge of good and evil, so we kind of brought it on ourselves. Sigh.

I did hear long ago that the part of the brain that comprehends morality comprises about 30% of the organ's size, and if it didn't exist, labor would be 30% less painful. I believe they call that "irony."

I'm a worrier. I don't mean to be, but I am. It's probably an inflated sense of responsibility. I'm the only human in the house. If some disaster strikes, I'm the one who has to deal with it and make sure all 8 of us survive intact.

I remember being a child without cares. I could sleep through anything because my parents were there to take care of me. It doesn't work that way anymore. The slightest noise can awaken me. I sleep with a fountain in my room because it helps a little, but not as much as you might think. This is one of the reasons I look forward to the hereditary deafness I know is coming (the other is not having to listen to liberals).

And I hate not knowing what to do in an emergency. This doesn't seem to bother other people, but maybe they have instincts to protect them. I have no instincts. I have no natural "response" to a new situation except to freeze and wait. This isn't always the best response. In a tornado, it can get you killed. So I worry about what I don't know and what I haven't considered and what I couldn't possibly anticipate that will end life as I know it.

I often recite Phil 3:5-6 as a mantra against worry. "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God, and the peace of God which passes all understanding will guard your heart and mind in Christ Jesus." Thank you, Paul, master of modifying phrases and run-on sentences.

But worry runs deep. It is not something that can be reasoned away. It creeps into your subconscious and requires you to wear a mouthpiece at night to prevent grinding your teeth down to the nerves. My Dear Friend once beat around the bush trying to ask if I was human enough to be affected by worry. I presented the mouthpiece as evidence of my humanity, which immediately relieved her worry at the time. Glad I could help. I wish mine would go away so easily.

I pray daily that God will convince me of His mercy. I'm quite familiar with His judgment and His omnipotence. That He is in control, I have no doubt. Doubt arises when I wonder whether that control includes sacrificing me as part of His vast, eternal plan. As a brat, I believe I am too important to risk. As a recovering brat, I know I'm not.

I expect worry is one of those things I will battle as long as I live. God must get tired of my weakness. He continues to demonstrate His compassion and I continue to doubt Him. That's evidence of compassion right there, if I would only trust it.

I'm going to try not to worry about it.


  1. but you didn't show me your belly button. ponder, ponder, ponder..does she have one?

  2. My Dear Friend tells me this is a reference to a Monk episode I've apparently never seen. It's probably time to be buying Season Six.


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