Fill in the blank: “Life is too short to _____.” Now, write a post telling us how you’ve come to that conclusion. (Thanks for suggesting this prompt, theempathyqueen!)
Life is too short to worry. First word that came to mind, so I’m running with it.
Anxiety, fear, depression, worry. All interrelated, all toxic. Anxiety is just another word for fear. Anxiety is what drives depression. First you worry everything half to death, then you get depressed.
Old saying: “When in trouble, when in doubt, run in circles, scream and shout!”
My mother-in-law was a world-class worrier. My husband knew it, knew she watched from their living room window each day when it was time for him to come home from school. When he knew he was close to being in her line of vision, he would start to limp. Then, just before entering the house, he would stop the limp. It drove her crazy. If a kid of mine pulled a trick like that on me, I’d give him a reason to limp!
Most of the things we worry about and fear never take place. Those things that do happen are rarely as bad as we think they’re going to be. When tragedy does strike, we somehow manage to soldier through it. At least, we here in the States used to be pretty good at soldiering through things. The more dependent and entitled we become, though, the weaker we become. It goes together. I’m proud to have had parents from the Great Generation, who taught us not to expect anyone to give us a handout. I can still make one chicken last for several meals, like my mom did. I don’t have to, but I can.
Life is such a gift. I was out and about early this morning. I needed to get a fasting blood draw done in preparation for an appointment with my doctor on Friday. As I drove to the lab, I enjoyed the wonderful November blue sky, the brilliance of the sun lighting up the landscape, the crisp autumn air and the valiantly blooming chrysanthemums still holding up their heads against the frost.
Waiting in the hallway for the lab to open, I enjoyed the cheerful chatter of people coming to work, holding steaming cups of their favorite coffee brews as they juggled purses, bags, and keys. Friendly “how are you” and “did you have a good weekend” greetings filled the building, laughter and camaraderie as many employees in the medical industry prepared for a day of dealing with sick people, cranky people, confused people, ridiculous amounts of paperwork generated by our government, and endless ringing telephones. I admire them all. How they manage it day after day is amazing to me.
I’m not worried about my A1C. I’ve been careful, and I’m pretty sure it will go down again. I didn’t lose the ten pounds I promised my doctor three months ago, but I did lose six! I imagine she’ll call me on our agreement that if I didn’t lose ten, I’d go see a nutritionist who will wave a magic wand and make all my fat disappear. Right. It’s not the know-how I’m wanting; it’s the want-to-do-what-I-know-how-to-do that’s lacking.
Is there a pill for that?
Anyway. In my work, I see people every day who are worried, fearful, anxious. One of the first things I urge them to do is to STOP with “but what if.” Good grief, there is enough to fear in this world without our making up things to worry about. Please, don’t live in the land of BUT WHAT IF. It’s toxic there. It will sap you of every ounce of joy, peace, and energy.
If you’re interested, here are a couple of my favorite scripture passages on this topic. If you’re not interested, then just stop reading. And thanks for staying with me this long 🙂
Psalm 119:165. “Great peace have they which love Thy law, and nothing shall offend (cause to stumble) them.”
Philippians 4:4-8. “Rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say, REJOICE! Let your moderation (sweet reasonableness) be known to all men. The Lord IS at hand. Be careful (full of care, anxious, worried) for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication (begging) with thanksgiving (gratitude) let your requests be made known unto God; and the peace of God, which passes understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”
There is a pastor being held prisoner in Iraq. He is guilty of being a Christian, and of preaching the gospel. He has been tortured, he is sick, and he is separated from his family. Saeed Abedini has an incredible testimony of faithfulness, peace, and joy. He’s not worried. He’s trusting God for whatever comes next.
I want to be like that.