I continue with Max Lucado’s book “Traveling Light” – Chapter Six – The Burden of Worry”. From a grieving mother’s perspective how not to become a worry wart….
As I read this chapter for the second time, I realized how easy it is for us as human beings to get wrapped up in the planning for our tomorrows. Perhaps that we review our past and hopefully, longingly plan for tomorrow in hopes that we don’t relive the same mistakes over and over. Yet what we are forgetting is that today has enough going on that we should just stay present in the moment. In that moment which we shall refer to hereafter as NOW.
Now as a project manager, nurse and in a previous life, advertising and graphic design artist, I will tell you that leaving the planning for tomorrow is a difficult task. What I do for a living demands planning and a lot of it. But my life – well that’s a whole other concept – one I need to learn to see differently. Separating my work life and personal life is a work in progress. It requires a high level of discernment and faith. Discernment to see the subtle differences where perhaps my personal life is somewhat intermingled with my work life. And, faith – faith to let God handle the rest.
You’d think giving up control to God would be an easy one. But I can tell you it is not. I think in large part to how I was raised. Or not raised – depending on how you look at it. I have been the one who “handled” things. Kept things going – moved the train along to the next station so to speak. So now, why now, do I feel the need to give it up and let God take over. I have to, my future depends on my present. My present depends on God taking over what Lucado refers to as the “Whaddifs and Howells”. What if I….. or How will I ever…..
He leads me beside the still waters…… Psalm 23:2 NKJV
When you are grieving the loss such as the one I carry daily, you begin to worry a lot. Worry about the future, how it will look now that everything you planned for and worked for is gone. As I wrote that previous sentence I realized that there is the real problem. All that planning, and working really didn’t pay off. I worried over my daughter’s future. I worried about her health, who would be there to take care of her. I worried about what her life would look like down the road. I worried myself to death. In the end, I missed out on a lot. I should have been more present.
I was still very early in my faith, the faith I have now that is so strong, was in its infancy then. I didn’t know any better. Some days I still don’t. That’s what I mean when I say my life is a “work in progress” – learning to give over the controls to God for my future is one that has been the hardest. The price I have paid has been life altering. The price of anxiety and worry can have a profound affect on your life. There is, as Lucado eludes to, a high cost of anxiety and worry.
Worry is not a disease, but it can lead to disease. Think about it. People worry themselves to death. Creating a constant sense of worry and anxiety which can and probably will ultimately lead to a disease that will end your life early. So what’s the alternative? Well for me, it’s really picking apart the scripture above:
He = GOD
Leads = shows me the way
Me = he cares enough for me
beside = along side of
the = it
still = quiet, calm, serene
waters = His never-ending love and grace
I’m not exactly sure how I came to that synopsis but for me, it makes sense. So now my job is finding that calm place, that still waters and bask in the beauty of God, to see the wonders of His never-ending love and to accept the grace that comes with it. To take one day at a time, leave the future to God. You see my friends, the one lesson I’ve learned so far….life is not guaranteed. You get one shot. Any day your life can change dramatically and all that worrying and anxiety – well it will be for not. Please live for today and let God handle all the rest. Enjoy where you are right now, for tomorrow we don’t know what may come, or if it will come. But today, we are assured of – so make it count. Each and every second.
until next time,