Thursday, April 07, 2016

Worry Is a Crooked Path Leading Back to Itself

Somewhere in Ohio

           I come from a long line of worriers that stretches back to Adam. My mother, wonderful person that she was, suffered from excessive worrying. I think my father worried, but it was hard to tell since he was, generally, non-expressive. Our roots are in Finland, and Finnish men tend not to show emotion.
“Worry” is part of our fallen, subhuman condition. "Worry" is endemic to humanity, in general. I come from a long, wide path of worriers trailing back to Old Testament times. Fallen humanity broods, negatively.
Worry is not helpful. Brooding on darkness brings on more darkness. Worry says, “Something bad is happening. You cannot stop it. Do worry, be unhappy.” 
Worry is passive, like waiting for the tornado that never comes. This adds nothing of value to life. Jesus said, “Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?”[1]  
Worry is non-additive. Worry is not neutral. Worry subtracts, knocking minutes off life.
Worry is absurd. This is because worry’s concerns are things that cannot be controlled. Like people. I can’t control others. I can love and serve them, but love and service will not inexorably come back to me. Sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn’t. When it comes to others, worry is a non-player.
I control none of this. Most of what happens to me in life is not in my control. This being the case, one thing that will not comfort me is worry. To ruminate on negative possibilities is absurd because it effects nothing. Except to subtract from me. Worry is a thief. Worry steals joy, peace, and hope from my heart.
Worry is a bad thinker. Worry needs to take a logic course. Anyone who has responsibilities exhibits care. Caring is good. Worry is caring gone berserk, which is bad for my soul. At this point caring mutates into worry. Caring packs its bag of burdens and hauls it south to the land of anxiety.
The antidote to worry is trust. The more I trust, the less I worry. The question then becomes: In whom, or in what, shall I place my trust? Trust must be rightly placed. Trusting in just anything will not do the job. 
Proverbs 3:5-6 says, famously: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Do not rely on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.” 
Worry is a crooked path that leads back to itself. But as I trust in God, my convoluted mental highways are made straight.

[1] Matthew 6:27