It’s been said that “Worry is like a rocking chair – it gives you something to do but doesn’t get you anywhere.” The axiom is completely true however it does not stop some people from worrying no matter how many times they recite it. I am a worrier. I am anxious most of my waking hours. Even when things seem to be going good, I am anxious that they will all fall apart. When things are going not so well, I am anxious that they will get worse. Some how I think God is getting some obscene pleasure from making my life miserable.
Here’s the irony. I am anxious about everything – my wife is anxious about nothing. She is a walking testimony to Philippians 4:6 “Have no anxiety about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God (RSV).”
Now I will admit, I have been banging the doors down when it comes to letting my requests be made known. And naturally, it seems I always stand empty handed. But then the context never says God will answer the requests, simply that His peace “will keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus (v.7).” Not quite what I was hoping, but certainly better perhaps than God simply answering those requests gushing forth from an anxious heart and mind. Then again, I am not at peace; seldom ever at peace. Can’t recall too many times in my life when I was ever in a state of peace. When things are going good, I’m expecting God to pull the rug out from under me. When things are going bad, I am wallowing in the “see I told you so” of my own expectations.
My wife made an observation that our energy is better spent becoming the people God wants us to be and He will take care of the rest. Similar to what Jesus said about seeking the Kingdom of God first and the other things necessary for life will be provided (Matt. 6:33). But I want the table to be set before I sit down for a meal. I anticipate and expect that perhaps things should be in perfect order before I take the next step. That all the lights should be green before I go to town. That somehow God owes me that. Of course, I’ve had that conversation with myself before and realize the absurdity of it, none the less it still bounces off the walls of my mind and seems impossible to shake.
I suspect it’s obvious by now, I am a glass-half-empty guy. Someone who, for whatever reason, thinks if it’s going to get done someone else is going to fill the glass for me. Naturally, that never happens. I suppose I could adopt Wayne Dyer’s philosophy and say to myself, “What’s the worse that can happen and can I live with that?” Or I could settle in and simply take life as it comes and resign myself to the fact that that is God’s will. Neither seem totally satisfactory.
Are the concepts of anxious and faith opposites? Can the two co-exist and produce a semblance of harmony? Will anxiousness always trump faith? Is the “peace of God” the goal?
These are difficult times. I am sure, in fact I am positive, that there are others who are under a much heavier weight than me. Because of economic conditions we (me in particular) simply live with the thought of what tomorrow will bring. Others already know what that “tomorrow” has delivered to their door. So I suppose I should be thankful for that element of uncertainty, at least it carries a ray of hope, but little peace.
Well, after reading this, if you’re not as depressed as I am perhaps you should be. Then again, if you are not perhaps you have the same kind of faith my wife has. She is the one constant in my life and for that I am eternally grateful. Then again, I wonder why God would ever saddle her with me. She deserves so much more.