Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Don't Worry - Be Happy!

After last Sunday's Gospel, in which the Lord told us "do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink, or about your body, what you will wear", I began to think about the amount of time that worrying can take up in my life. I can be so obsessive about having everything go just right and trying to make sure that people in my life are OK that I can easily spend a lot of time worrying. And I realize that this is really a victory for Satan, because all that time worrying is time I have lost that could be given to doing God's will. Naturally, any time Satan keeps us from doing God's will he is very happy, so I think he must spend a lot of energy trying to get up to worry. Worrying is an excessive preoccupation with trying to control things over which we usually do not really have control. For example, during her illness I worried a lot about my mom. I really had no way to do anything about it, but spent a lot of time thinking and worrying. That time was really wasted, since I could have been doing something that would really make a difference, whether for my mother or for others. Sometimes I worry about the future, which is REALLY a waste of time! I have absolutely no control over the future, outside of my own decisions, but worrying can really become almost an obsession. In pondering all of this, I can to the conclusion that I needed to take control of something that I really can control, and that is the worrying itself. So for Lent I have decided to make a concerted effort to give up worrying. Now understand, this does not mean that I will not make plans or not take care of things or be concerned about people and events, but simply that I will not give one minute of my time to things over which I have no control. I will continue to plan to have snow removed should another storm come, but will not worry whether or not there will be more snow. I refuse to dwell on things that people may say or feel about me, but will try to really see Jesus in every person I encounter, especially the ones I know do not like me. And above all, this Lent I will dedicate the time I used to spend worrying to try and help myself and those I am with feel the presence of the Lord. If I can do this, I am confident that not only will I be happier, but God will too. And just maybe I can break the cycle of worry that so often overwhelms and paralyzes me in a thousand little ways. I invite you to join me in giving up worrying for Lent, and see if this can lead you to a happy Easter.

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