Each day when we turn on our television or computer we are told by the media to worry.
Worry about the economy.
Worry about our health.
Worry about global warming.
Worry about our safety.
Worry about how we look.
Worry about our privacy.
It’s no wonder that the news is quickly followed by ads for ulcer, heart, and depression medications!
I know that the intention of the news media is to create a concern that motivates us to action. I know that we need to be concerned about many things in this world that are wrong. However, in my mind there is a big difference between concern and worry. And I think we become far less effective whenever we cross the line between the two.
Concern does often motivate us to action. It stirs compassion in us. It sets our mind to the task of solving problems and helping others. It makes us take better care of our bodies. It makes us think before we act.
But worry keeps us awake at night. Worry frustrates and depresses us. Worry makes us afraid and often defeats us before we begin a task. “What if…” is such a powerful thought that sometimes we can’t get beyond it. Worry develops into fears and phobias that can imprison people mentally, emotionally, and even physically.
I’m not a risk taker or daredevil by any means. My children and husband will attest to the fact that I have my share of fears and phobias. I have to leave the room the first time Gary lights the propane heater in the winter. I can’t drive over Roosevelt Bridge without both hands on the wheel. I won’t walk to the edge of a mezzanine. I can’t even think about swimming in the lake or a pond. The list goes on and my son chides me about it. However, my general approach to everyday life and the worries that the media encourages is “Let go and let God”. I don’t think there is any other way to live once you realize the futility of our worry. Jesus asked in Luke 12:25, “Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?” Who indeed?
I’m not advocating giving up or sitting at home and doing nothing. There is much to be done in this world and I firmly believe that God helps those who are called to action, especially on the behalf of others. But let’s stop wasting our time with thoughts of doom and gloom and remember that God blesses us each and every day. If you are reading this you are blessed to be alive and to have sight and intelligence. Begin there. Begin your prayers today with gratitude, not worries. Begin your thoughts with hope, not despair. Be concerned about the cares of the world, but be not overcome with problems and fears. Proverbs 17:22, “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.”
Be cheerful today!