How many of you would say that worrying about things is an issue for you? I must confess that I have battled that tendency for much of my life. I have even joked that that worrying is my spiritual gift! Of course, it isn’t a joke. The fact is for so many people worrying and being anxious is a real problem.
Worry can suck the life right out of us. It is of absolutely no value in making tomorrow better and beyond that, it robs today of anything good and positive. In fact, have you noticed that many of the things we worry about are totally out of our realm of control anyway? Jesus asks a great question in Matt. 6:27. “Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?” In other words he is saying “Worry, why in the world would you do that?”
Now there is no denying that life presents us with stressful situations that demand much of us. One of the big challenges in dealing with those situations is leaving them in their proper place. It is so easy to bring the stress of the office into the house; to bring the demands of our commitments to the dinner table. This puts a cloud over our relationships and frankly, makes home a not so happy place to be.
Let’s get practical for a moment. I once read the story of a worrier who decided to imagine a hook right outside the door of his home. Each night when coming home from work, he looked at the hook and visualized himself hanging all the stresses and worries that were occupying his mind on that hook before going inside. What he found was that the atmosphere of his house began to change for the better. It was really a reminder of what Jesus was saying about the futility of worry and the damage it can do.
I myself tried this while I still had kids at home. On more than one occasion, when I was lamenting this or that stressful issue at the dinner table, one of my kids would literally say: “So, what about that hook?”. Ouch!
This week, why don’t you try hanging up your own Worry Hook? See if it not only reminds you of Jesus’ admonition, but if it doesn’t begin to change the atmosphere around you for the better.
Live this week on purpose,