Perhaps you’re different, but I rarely leap out of bed with a thankful heart. My default setting seems to be somewhere between vague discontent and low-lying worry. To top up the moods, I’ve got a series of mental checklists that include the following: Reasons to Panic, Things That Might Go Wrong, Stuff I Haven’t Done and Really Should Have, Regrets (I’ve Had a Few), and, if all else fails, My Bum Looks Big and I’ve Got Wrinkles.
Instead of challenging such worries, too often I’m happy to let them simmer along as the soundtrack to my life. Everyone does it, I tell myself. And what’s wrong with that? But according to Jesus, quite a lot. Here’s what He says about worry. ‘ Don’t’.
Well hang on there Lord, I respond, that’s quite a statement. For one thing, you seem to be suggesting that worry is a choice. Like instead of listening, I can talk to myself. Like I don’t have to be sucked into that whirlpool of self-pity and sadness. Like maybe I should fight it instead. But how?
Perhaps it’s an issue of perspective. A quiet time is not a magic formula for godliness, but the world looks very different after I’ve spent time with the Lord. When I talk to God and read His word, I’m reminded of who I am and what I have. As my eyes are lifted from myself to Him, my heart and life are enlarged – the problems are still there, but drawn to size. And when I see how big Christ is, everything else seems much smaller.