Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. ~1 Peter 5:7
Life is a gift
Bestowed by God above
Truly precious and valuable
Life is a blessing
A sequence of moments
Orchestrated by the Lord
Filling hearts with joy
Providing comfort in times of struggle
Life is meant to be lived
Shared with others
Relationships and experiences predesigned
Bringing light to those around us
Encouraging with hope
Building bonds of fellowship
Life is a gift
Choose each task wisely
Relax and release it all to God
Enjoying each moment
Breathing in each blessing
Living richly and abundantly in HIS love
How quick we are to worry and despair about things well beyond our control?! While at work today, I was talking with fellow teachers about the fast approaching end of the school year. We were discussing all that must be done to finish out the year, establish next year’s class lists, and begin prepping for next school year (yes, we actually have to work during the summer—there is no free vacation, even for teachers!) I made the statement that life is too short to worry, and that set off a chain reaction of comments. How true though!
We have only one life. One life with a limited amount of time and to me it seems a bother and a waste to spend that valuable time worrying about things that haven’t happened yet, things that still haven’t gotten completed, and all the little things in between….and I assure you they are ALL little things when you look at the grand scheme of life.
Now I am not saying that we are to be irresponsible, and do whatever we want, whenever we want, however we want, with disregard to societal rules and governing laws. However, I am saying that if you are late for an appointment occasionally because life happened…so be it. I promise you that the world won’t stop spinning! If you are delayed in getting paperwork sent home, don’t stress. Tomorrow is yet another day to finish what was not completed today! Or perhaps, you decide to grab fast food on the way home instead of cooking. Guess what….you won’t become obese with a fast food meal here and there a couple of times a month!
In the American culture, and many others as well, we tend to overbook, overstress, and overwhelm ourselves with to do lists for work, home, church, and recreation. Okay, why do we need a list for a vacation? Really? It is called a vacation so we can relax, not stress about getting from one location to another at a specific time on a specific day. We go from rushing out the door in the morning, to hustling through the day at work, bringing work home because we didn’t finish it there, and then stressing about how to get the laundry done, the house somewhat cleaned (or for those perfectionist, A-type personalities—like I used to be—to get it clean and presentable to the public at all times!), to get dinner cooked, dishes cleaned, children through the bath time and evening routine, not to mention homework completion, and prayer/Bible study time. Oh, and don’t forget grocery shopping, kid shuttles to and from activities, and paying bills! Then we wake up the next morning to do it all again. Whew! After a few days of that, it is no wonder we live for the weekend and work to get enough money to escape now and again. What a vicious cycle!
You know, a lot of our worry and stress is caused by fear over the inability to control our life. Fear of not having enough money to make ends meet…thus we work ourselves to death, often at the sacrifice of family time and personal time. Fear of what unexpected things may (or may not) happen in the future…i.e. car breaking down, kids need braces, house getting robbed or destroyed, college funding… you pick your future worries as we all have some! Fear of not doing enough, fear of doing too much, fear of being late, fear of being early…..hmmmm….fear of failure, fear of success and expectations. I think you get the picture…fear. Worry is caused by fear, insecurity, and the inability to control our lives.
Let me help you out here…YOU ARE NOT IN CONTROL…EVER. NEVER WERE, NEVER WILL BE! GOD IS IN CONTROL! He has orchestrated your life in a way that will produce the most benefit to yourself and those around you. He has planned the path of your life so as to ensure you have all that you need, when you need it (notice I did not say everything you WANT when you WANT it!). That’s right, God has you and your life in the palm of his hand, so guess what? You can relax a little and enjoy the amazing gift of life that he has given you.
Again, I am not saying that this is your ticket to being irresponsible or reckless. Rather, I am saying that you can relax instead of worrying about the future, instead of stressing about piles of paperwork, instead of stretching yourself so thin you have no time to breath and rejuvenate. Surrender to God and allow HIM to help you prioritize. Give him the chance to teach you the art of saying to no to things that are irrelevant, unimportant, or harmful to the lifestyle he has designed for you. Allow him to work in your life to weed out the insignificant things and selfish plans you hold so tight to that run you tirelessly into the ground!
Instead of worrying, take to the scriptures and trust that God has you and that all you need do is follow him with a willing heart, a thirsty soul, a focused mind, and a healthy body. Philippians 4:6-7…Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, 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.
Come to God with prayer, with thanksgiving for what you do have, instead of focusing on what you don’t have. Bring your worry, your anxiety, your fears, your insecurities to HIM. Lay them at the cross and let God work in your life to bring you peace, joy, contentment, and hope.
Remember and hold tight to the truth that you are valuable and precious to the LORD…more than you can imagine, more than your earthly limited mind-set can understand. He created you to live life, not for you to let worry run your life. Taste the freedom that God can give and trust that HE WILL carry you through it all.
I leave you with Matthew 6:25-34…”Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you–you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Live, laugh, love OR Anxiety, anguish, agonize…..you pick!
God bless and may HE fill your life to overflowing, opening your eyes to the beauty of life and helping you slow down to enjoy it!