“Therefore, I tell you, do not worry…” Matthew 6:25
This week our Bible study is taking a good look at worry. I’m kinda worried about it, actually. How am I supposed to teach a lesson on not worrying? Can a person really learn to keep from being worried in this life? After all, we live in a worrisome world. Right?
Worry: to torment oneself with or suffer from disturbing thoughts; fret. The original Greek meaning of the word means to choke, to strangle, to drown. Not a pretty picture. So why do we do it?
In preparation for the study, I asked the Lord to show me what it is I worry about. I gave Him full permission to set off sirens and flash blinding lights every time I worried. Here’s what I found out: most of it was stupid stuff. I wasn’t tormenting myself with thoughts about the weak economy, or the state of education in America or the plight of the homeless. My fretfulness didn’t have anything to do with the war in the Middle East or the victims of natural disasters. My worries were either outlandish scenarios that ballooned into tragedies in high-def 3-D living color (what if I swerve to miss a deer and the van goes down into a swampy ravine and nobody finds me for three days and by then the fish have eaten off my face and I am unrecognizable……); or my worries were along the lines of, “Did I put the milk away after having my Honey Nut Cheerios this morning?”
Sometimes I have worthwhile worries, usually involving the kids: are they happy? are they making good choices? are they brushing and flossing? Or there are marital worries: will we grow old together? will he always find me attractive? will he remember to take out the garbage?
But Jesus didn’t put worries and cares into categories. There was no designation for imaginative worries or stupid worries or noble worries. He lumped them all together and said, “Do not worry.” Period. Let’s think about it this week. What do you worry about? Is it possible to NOT worry?