Thought for the Week: Point to Ponder

Don’t worry; be happy
‘Don’t worry; be happy’ is a well known Bob Marley song which was chosen for a funeral I took recently. As people filed by at the end of the service someone commented on the music choice. ‘Easier said than done, Vicar’ and I found myself nodding in agreement. I hoped this wasn’t one of those moments when the vicar was expected to magic up the answer to a big question. As a worrier myself, I actually did know what he meant.

I re-read a story about Arthur Rank this week, who apparently decided to do all his worrying on one day each week. He chose Wednesdays. When anything happened that gave him anxiety and annoyed him, he would write it down, put it in his ‘worry box’ and forget about it until the following Wednesday. The interesting thing was that, on the following Wednesday when he opened his worry box, he found that most of the things that had disturbed him the past six days were no longer issues of concern. So, it would have been useless to have worried about them in the first place.

Perhaps, though, not all worry is ‘negative’ and there are things about which we should be genuinely concerned. The big issue of climate change, which I confess I do not understand fully at all, nonetheless seems to me to be a genuine concern many of us have now for our planet. However, I think it is when we are over concerned about things which, in our heart of hearts, we know are inconsequential, then we can start to miss the bigger picture.

The question of worry and anxiety raises the issue of our faith and trust in God. Does God know? Does God care? Can we trust God? I genuinely believe the answer is ‘yes’ and that we need to really hold on to verses, like the one below, especially when life throws the ‘curve balls’ of doubt and uncertainty.

For many people worry steals sleep on a regular basis. It usually visits around 2-3 a.m. in my view. But worry does not just steal sleep, it can also steal our health, our ability to cope with life productively and worst of all it can steadily erode our faith.

So, this week I am prescribing an anti-worry medicine to be taken as require. ‘Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus’ (Philippians 4:6-7). Shalom