Playing off of last weeks post I kind of skipped ahead in the book of Luke and landed on another familiar passage. The one about not worrying. It is made to sound so easy, simply stop worrying. If you aren’t familiar here is the link to it Luke 12:22-34.
Last week I wrote about spending time with God and being still in His presence. I think that’s the answer to the questions that usually arise after reading Luke 12. I used to read this passage and think, “boy that would be nice. Sure I’ll stop worrying.” Easy enough, right? Why do we worry? Where does it come from? How do we not?
My first reaction is that we don’t just stop worrying. At least I haven’t figured out a way to snap my fingers and make it go away. What I am learning is that it’s more about creating habits to work through worry. Where do I go and what do I do when I feel worried? To me, that’s where last weeks post comes in. It’s about spending intentional time with Jesus. Once I recognize that the worry may not go away immediately I can extend myself some grace, which leads to being more patient (okay with His timing) with God.
We worry because we can’t help it. We all do it because we are wired to be mildly concerned about what’s next. Science backs this up and I’m for sure not qualified to get in to it. What I do know is this, we can use worry for good. It does not have to be bad or something to fear and extra anxiety. Worrying is a sign that something is upcoming or unknown. What we do in those moments is a choice. I’m not going to write that God is the answer to every worry, although the Bible does say that, no, I think worrying can also lead to healthy preparation. I think if you use worry as a tool or indicator to let you know that you need to be ready, then it can be useful and positive. You also have to be in tune enough to know when you’ve worried long enough.
In Luke when Jesus tells the disciples not to worry about the next day, he may have been referring to the kind of worry that hinders you. The kind that keeps you stuck. The one that turns into lack of faith. The one keeps you from reaching out to your neighbor or taking that leap in your career, the one God has been calling you to. I think that’s the kind of worry Jesus meant. At what point does worry get in your way? At what point do you stop listening to Jesus because you’re too worried about worldly things?
Take a minute and assess what worry does to you. What is your first reaction? Are there times when worry has lead to proper preparation? There is no right answer here, but take some time to check in with yourself and feel what worry is doing in your life.