Sunday, August 14, 2016

The worries of this world

... The worries of this world, and the deceitfulness of wealth, choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful ... (Matthew 13:22)
"Worry" is one of the acceptable vices. It can come from honest care, from love, from concern. When worry comes, it does not seem like a temptation. Instead, refraining from worry seems like indifference or coldness. And then so many noble causes promote themselves through fear: fear of some impending apocalypse if we do (or don't) vote for a certain candidate, or promote a certain cause. (And some causes claim to be noble by promoting fear. After all, saving us from catastrophe must be noble.) Every day we hear it implied, "Every good person ought to be worried!" 

And lately I have had personal reasons to struggle with worry, as one relative struggles with COPD, another with addiction, another having been deployed to an area that is not exactly as safe as back home.

Worry is based on fear and helplessness. It drains our energy without accomplishing anything. Worry takes my focus off of the things that I can control, off of my own responsibilities. It makes things more unmanageable by adding exhaustion, tension, and fear to our cares. And if it is a thing under my control -- I could plan or act instead of worrying.

Would it be better to do nothing than to worry? At least, at the end, I would not have drained myself. Worry is marked by how unproductive it is: we come to the same worries over again, and there is no end to the worries because the worry did not improve anything. If there is something I can or should do, let me do that instead of worrying. If there is nothing that I can do, let me voice my cares to one who is in control, and let it go.


Martin LaBar said...

Someone once said that worry is the interest you pay on borrowing trouble.

The last two sentences are good advice.

Weekend Fisher said...

That's a great quote.

Thank you!