“Consider the lilies of the field…” ~Matthew 6:28
Consider how worry and faith look to you. I’ll bet you see worrying represented by someone with a frown on their face or wringing their hands, and when you think on the word “faith” you remember stories of heroes great and small.
But really, a lot of us flip that, don’t we?
We live worry like an action word and faith as a feeling.
We make lists, have imaginary conversations, and daydream about worst-case scenarios, replaying them as we hope for different and better outcomes all the while watching the clock as it ticks towards a day followed by another restless night.
The seeds of worry are fear and doubt and a need to control. There is never enough. And if there is, there isn’t enough to share.
Where do we stand when we worry? We stand in the future that hasn’t happened.
Worriers also live in a stubbornly persistent present vowing that nothing will ever get better but the worst will certainly get worse. In that frame of mind, answers to prayers aren’t seen, not because prayers never left the lips, but because eyes refuse to look to new horizons, and hearts harden to possibilities for fear of trusting and being disappointed.
Worry kills the life inside of us one thought at a time.
Faith, on the other hand opens our hearts to gratitude, and acceptance of what we have- that we have enough and more will be provided in due time… we learn to trust.
Without worry as a constant companion we seek to fill other people’s needs with what we have because we feel like we have plenty.
People of faith solve problems easily because they see abundance and they know where it came from. Even when there is poverty, sickness and disease, they acknowledge that there simultaneously exists hope that colors the bleakest situations.
I’m reminded of Viktor Frankl and his attitude while he was a prisoner of war in Nazi prison camps for 3 years:
“Naturally only a few people were capable of reaching great spiritual heights. But a few were given the chance to attain human greatness even through their apparent worldly failure and death, an accomplishment which in ordinary circumstances they would have never achieved. To the others of us, the mediocre and the half-hearted, the words of Bismarck could be applied: Life is like being at the dentist. You always think that the worst is still to come, and yet it is over already.” Varying this, we could say that most men in a concentration camp believed that the real opportunities of life had passed. Yet, in reality, there was an opportunity and a challenge. One could make a victory of those experiences, turning life into an inner triumph, or one could ignore the challenge and simply vegetate, as did a majority of the prisoners. — (P.72, “Man’s Search For Meaning”)
Remember Ghandi? Here’s what he had to say:
“There is nothing that wastes the body like worry,
and one who has any faith in God should be ashamed
to worry about anything whatsoever. ” ~Mahatma Gandhi
I consider true leaders to be those people who, no matter their age or circumstance, stop worrying and start serving.
Here’s one more familiar quote from Viktor Frankl:
“We who lived in the concentration camps can remember the men who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread. They may have been few in number, but they offer sufficient proof that everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms — to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way. — (P.65-66, “Man’s Search For Meaning”)
- Do you think worrying is easy to overcome?
- How have you overcome the “worry” habit?