Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The merits of my worrying

I'm pretty good at worrying. I worry for myself and on (unrequested) behalf of my family. Health, plans, virtues, love, work, faith, tomorrow, next month, next year. I don't discriminate too much. I seriously wish that I didn't worry. It accomplishes little except discouragement for me and those around me. This week has its own set of worries that I find to mull over in my head.

But if there is one thing to be said for all that worrying, it is this - it actually sends me running to God. I talked a little with my sister while she visited about a type of meditation, about dealing with stress and wrongs and worries, letting them go and finding them replaced with love. On the one hand, tapping all that love inside of me sounds wonderful. But on the other hand, my biggest hangup is that it sounds hopelessly impossible. Something in me cries out for a bigger Someone than me to step in, knowing that I fall short over and over. It is almost exhausting to think of all the work that it would take to let go of all my worries, not to mention faults.

And so in my worrying, I turn my thoughts upward instead of inward or outward. The fact that my worrying makes me desperate for the help of another is probably its only merit. The words below are stuck on my refrigerator door. (Sometimes, I'll stick a list of worries directly next to it, just in case I forget what to worry/ask about!) I find that praying becomes easy when I just take the worry words and send them upward. In giving my worries up, I find God's peace almost immediately as I'm reminded that there is Someone big enough to pray to.

"Don't fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God's wholeness (peace), everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It's wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life." Philippians 4:7-8

Go ahead, give it a try too.


Anne said...

I have that verse on my bulletin board too. Thank you God that we don't have to worry!

Jenn said...

This is a constant battle for me as well! i am learning with you! As a mom and wife, seems like there will always be something to worry about! The lesson for me is what do I do with those worries because they can consume me if I let them!

Dawn Smith said...

hey jo. i rarely leave comments, but i just wanted to say keep it up. i'm happy to read about your life. i think us moms worry frequently. i clean the house when i find myself worrying. :) the sound of the dryer has a strange quieting effect, and i feel like i'm proactively dealing with life. i resonate with the thoughts of looking upward as well. an unrelated thought: do you think us Christians sometimes throw up our hands and say it's "in Gods" when really that kind of means it's not our responsibility? i know this isn't at all what you were saying in your message, it's just on my mind at the moment. i find it really bugs me when people say (especially regarding things like genocide or unjust things in the world) , "well, all we can do is pray." hmmm...sometimes i feel we can do more. :)

anyway, way to go. i think of you on mothers day. i'm glad you have family to celebrate with.