Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Our Most Disabling Sin: Worry

What does the future hold for me at three-score and ten plus three?  What will tomorrow bring?  What does it hold for you?  We all ask the question.  It is a question we ask at every stage of the journey.  As I ask it again this morning, I recall Doris Day’s popular song of the 1950’s.  Do you remember it?
When I was just a little girl, I asked my mother, "What will I be? Will I be pretty?  Will I be rich? Here’s what she said to me:  "Que sera, sera. Whatever will be, will be. The future's not ours to see. Que sera, sera, What will be, will be.”

“The future is not ours to see,” perhaps, and “whatever will be, will be,” but this seems to me a rather pessimistic attitude.  To simply sit back and allow the future to be “whatever will be, will be,” is a cop-out.  The truth is that we can and do shape our future by the choices we make today or those we made forty years ago.  Every new today is based on every yesterday we’ve ever lived.   So our future is not willy-nilly and we can, to some degree, foresee what tomorrow may bring.  

Like the dahlia, we, too, bloom in
the sunlight!
I think Jesus’ comment, “Take no thought for the morrow,” is often misunderstood.  In earlier translations (before the King James Version) the passage is rendered as “Be not careful with your life,” meaning be not full of care for your life.  Jesus  is not suggesting that we should not have prudent foresight and settle for “what will be, will be”.  He is not advocating that we be “shiftless, thriftless, reckless, and thoughtless.”  Jesus is simply saying, don’t worry, because worry about tomorrow will do you no good. Trust today, focus on today, without anxious worry about what will come; do the same thing when tomorrow becomes a today.  Worry is a disabling sin that crushes the abundant life we are meant to live.  

The following quotes in my “Notes of Note” notebook have helped me with my anxious moments, perhaps they will speak to you in your anxious times.

“Worrying is carrying tomorrow's load with today's strength— carrying two days at once. It is moving into tomorrow ahead of time. Worrying doesn't empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength.”  (Corrie ten Bloom)

“Never let the future disturb you. You will meet it, if you have to, with the same weapons of reason which today arm you against the present.” (The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius)

“I am an old man and have known a great many troubles, but most of them have never happened.”   (Mark Twain)

“Do not anticipate trouble, or worry about what may never happen. Keep in the sunlight.” (Benjamin Franklin)

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