Altar Call – Opelika –Auburn News
July 10, 2016
Worry robs life of joy and balance
Pneumonia stopped me in my tracks. Put me in the hospital. Got me to thinking about dying. But that is not bad. Everybody, young or old, needs to do some serious thinking about death because each of us is going to die.
One thing I am not going to do is worry about my death. Worry can kill you. I may not be able to stop pneumonia from killing me but I have a choice about worry. I can stop worry in its tracks by refusing to worry. Unchecked, worry will rob my life of joy and balance. I can choose to not allow that robbery to take place.
Nobody recommends worrying. In fact, everybody frowns on doing it. To reinforce my decision not worry, I decided to collect ten good quotations about the danger and futility of worrying.
Corrie ten Boom said, “Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength.”
Charlie Brown said, “I’ve developed a new philosophy…. I only dread one day at a time.”
Pat Schroeder said, “You can’t wring your hands and roll up your sleeves at the same time.”
Thomas Edison said, “As a cure for worrying, work is better than whiskey.”
Douglas MacArthur said, “Worry, doubt, fear and despair are the enemies which slowly bring us down to the ground and turn us to dust before we die.”
Tim Fargo said, “Worry trades the joy of now for the unlikely catastrophes of later.”
William Ralph Inge said, “Worry is interest paid on trouble before it comes due.”
Robert Eliot said, “Rule number one is, don’t sweat the small stuff. Rule number two is, it’s all small stuff.”
Mary C. Crowley said, “Every evening I turn my worries over to God. He’s going to be up all night anyway.”
Number ten will, as you might expect, be these words of Jesus as they are paraphrased by Eugene Peterson in The Message: “If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don’t you think he’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God’s giving. People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.
“Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes. (Matthew 6:3034)
I like that idea that we should pay attention to what God is doing right now rather than worry about tomorrow. So when worry knocks on my door, I tell it to go away because I am focused on how I can participate in what God is doing – and God is always up to something good!
Life in this world is a gift – and I intend to enjoy it to the full as long as God gives me breath. When I turned my life over to Jesus he gave me another precious gift – the gift of eternal life. Eternal life begins in this life and continues beyond death in the place God has prepared for those who love him. There in the presence of the one who died for my sins, I shall praise God with a new voice in a new body forever thanking him for the amazing grace that saved a wretch like me.
Whether I live another ten days or ten years need not concern me. I shall thank God for each new sunrise. Worry will not lengthen my days. Nothing is gained by worrying about things over which I have no control. I am in the Lord’s hands – here and there. Therefore, I shall not worry but trust him in all things small and great. Step aside and let me put my hand to the plow while it is day! Glory Hallelujah! + + +