Originally published Tuesday, 03 February 2015.
What good are you?
What do you offer?
How do you help?
I have carried you far and wide.
The thing about you is that sometimes you are small and my bag is light. In this case, you allow for other things to fit - like joy, peace and rest. Other times, however, you are so big, there is no room for any of that. There is just room for a self-focus - a self focus that deters me from the reality of truth.
I hate it when you take up all the room.
The zippers don't close and you tend to squeeze right out the sides of my life.
I want to hide you, contain you within, but you always come out.
Maybe that is what bothers me the most.
You weigh me down.
You consistently focus me - on me.
Worry, you have to go.
I want to leave you behind. I want to go to baggage claim and never claim you again.
Because you are like a carousel -
round and round go the thoughts in my mind, but I never get anywhere.
You are like a leech.
You suck joy, peace and the power of presence right out of my life.
You are like an old lady crossing a busy 3-lane highway.
When you walk in, I can't see anything else but you in my life.
But, most of all, you are who you are, a loaded, weighted, burdensome, inconvenient bag stuffed with entirely no use.
How have you tricked me so often?
I must falsely believe inside that you serve some purpose.
You don't change anything.
You distract me from God.
You dwell my heart on fear.
You condition me to live based on "what if's".
You fight my sleep.
You steal moments with my kids.
You leave me inactive.
Who knows what you do to my health? I have heard it isn't good.
I am done.
I hope you feel the swift kick to the curb I offer you today.
I know it won't be easy, but I have a plan of action so that you don't show up on my doorstep again.
1. When the winds of worry waken my fears, I am going to start wondering about what I wonder about.
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things. (Phil. 4:8)
I am going to be thinking about what I am thinking about. I am going to be evaluating what I am watching. I am going to be considering what I am believing. If it doesn't line up with Jesus Christ and his gospel of grace, the truth that he is always with us and his promise that he will give us all we need - I am kicking these fears out the door too.
2. I am going to choose to be thanks-filled about the trial-filled moments.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. (Phil. 4:6)
Will this be hard? Indeed. Worth it? You bet. Underneath it all, I know this is the antidote to worry.
How can we worry and be truly thankful at the same time?
Thankfulness focuses our mind on all we have,
while worry focuses our mind on all we hypothetically may not have.
These two enemies cannot co-exist.
3. I am going to remember that worry doesn't rule me, Christ does.
Thanks be to you Lord Jesus; you have all authority. You rule on high. No one can take you down. No situation can overcome you. You are the definition of power, the force of love and the fixer of all things. I don't have to take the world on my shoulders because you took the cross on yours.
I bow down.
I humble myself and let go of prideful worry that fools me into thinking that I can actually do something to change my situation. Again, Lord, it is all about you.
God is so much more effective than this bag of tricks I have ineffectively relied on for so long.
So, today, I take that ugly, frustrating bag of worry and let go. What a relief it is! I can almost see my steps quicken, my arms pump a little faster, and my step lighten a tad. I feel free. I feel connected in love.
Does this mean that bad things won't happen to me? Or that worst case scenarios may never come true? No.
But this does mean that I know deep, deep, down in my heart that my troubles are momentary and that my trials will pass and that I serve a God greater than these things. In this - I can choose to let go of this bag with imprints of my hand so deeply marked on its handles. This bag that I have clutched so tightly.
You don't serve me. You don't rule me.
I can release my grip and wave goodbye.
Bag, you are no longer my load to carry.
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