I was sitting at work the other day and I couldn’t get it off my mind. It bugged me and bugged me and bugged me. I did my best to ignore it. But, it nagged me until I paid attention. I tried to put it off again. Fail. I tried again. Epic fail. What had me in its grip? Worry.
It doesn’t matter what it is that we worry about, once we let it get in there it is so hard to get it to go away. It could be about money, health issues, relationships, or a variety of other things that are important to us. They are often unfounded, or barely founded. But, once it gets in your mind it multiplies like wild fire.
I have spent more than my share of time battling it over the years. Finding out I had cancer in 2004 and again in 2018 provided a ton of it. Losing a job years ago added a bunch. Complications with our son’s delivery added more than I thought I could bear. What did it all amount to? A lot of stress that didn’t do me any good in the end.
There is a great verse that goes like this: who by worrying can add a single hour to his life? (Matthew 6:27) I have discovered this time and time again. Being concerned about things can be productive. Doing my part is necessary. But, letting those concerns shift to worry only makes us anxious and clouds our minds. Concern and hope can exist together. Worry chokes hope.
After my diagnosis in 2004 and in 2018, I decided that I was going to do everything in my power to live. I would endure the surgery. I would undergo chemotherapy. I would do everything I could to make sure I had the best chance possible. The results were up to God. I just wanted to make sure I did my part. I was concerned. I refused over and over to let it turn into worry. Thankfully, the outcome is what I wanted it to be. I am still here. I still fight worry all the time. I am still here.
What do you worry about? Are the problems real or imagined? Are they things you can do something about? Do you need to ask for help? If they are things you can tackle, get after it. If they are things you need help with, ask. If they are things you have no control over, do what you can do.
Even if I have to make the choice a thousand times, I refuse to let worry overtake me. I know it won’t do me any good in the long term and it makes the short term miserable.