Tuesday, January 11, 2011

What If…

“Can any of you by worrying add a single moment to your life-span?” Matthew 6: 27

To be honest, I struggle with worrying. Not about things like finances, or the state of politics, or the fate of the world—with these things I am at peace in trusting God. But I am extremely safety-conscious: I try to anticipate and prevent potential accidents before they happen. I would like to keep my wife and my kids safe and I hate it when I see one of them get hurt. But you know what? I can’t prevent or even predict every possible danger that could harm them.

I think a lot of us struggle with worry. It might not be about the same things, but it is something, right? I know many young people that worry about grades, peer pressure, being popular, having a zit, not getting asked to prom, getting into the college of their choice or making the team. Many adults struggle with worrying about paying the mortgage, providing for their families, being good parents, having well-adjusted kids and retirement. We all spend too much time thinking about things that we ultimately have little control over.

What creates or contributes to these feelings of anxiety? Advertisers like to remind us that we aren’t good enough without…(fill in the blank). Movies and TV shows tell us that we are missing out in life if we don’t have the cars, the big homes, the girl (or guy), or enough money for exotic vacations. Watching the news can cause us to buy a gun and put an extra lock on all our doors.

But ultimately I think it is a matter of control. As a human people, we seem to be obsessed with having control over our lives, don’t we? We vote, we choose, we decide. It’s our bodies, it’s our rights, it’s our future. We don’t want anyone having a say in our lives. We want to do what we want, when we want and we don’t want anyone or anything getting in our way. The problem is that as we become older, we begin to suspect that we really control very little. We realize how fragile life is, how easy things can go wrong, how short a distance it is between success and failure or life and death. And we worry. And where does this get us? We begin to even more frantically run, search, work, conquer, invent, struggle—you name it, all in futile effort to control that which we cannot.

But the solution is not to try harder and harder and to become more and more anxious. The solution is to LET GO. The solution is to SURRENDER. The solution is to ACCEPT. To let go of our hold on the illusion of control and let God lead us. To surrender the obsession we have to be fulfilled and allow God to fulfill us. To accept that even when suffering or tragedy strikes, that God is still in control and that He will carry us through anything that life throws our way. While we cannot control anything, we can place our hope and confidence in the One who does. And we can then be at peace.

Dear Jesus, I know that the more I seek to control everything in my life, the more I lose control and begin to worry. Please grant me the grace to let go of my worries, to surrender my life to You each day and to accept Your guidance and will for my life. Amen.

No comments:

Post a Comment