What Do Worry, Cinnabon & Tall Boots All Have In Common?
I woke up today and started worrying. As I started going through the list of all the things in my life that were outside of my control, I felt my stomach start to twist into knots.
Suddenly, I had an uncontrollable urge for a huge cinnamon roll with double icing. Don't judge me. I'm not the only human being on the face of this planet who has used Cinnabon as a coping mechanism.
I know, I know... I've heard all of the sermons about how we shouldn't worry. I've heard the exhortations to cast all my cares upon God. Heck, I've preached more than my fair share of those sermons, and have delivered more than a few of those exhortations to people who were worrying.
But still, some days you wake up, and you start thinking about all of the things that are uncertain, the stuff that's out there that you just can't control, and it occupies your mind to the point of distraction.
Author and motivational speaker Ryan Holiday puts it like this:
"Staring at the clock, at the ticker, at the next checkout lane over, at the sky--its as if we all belong to a religious cult that believes the gods of fate will only give us what we want if we sacrifice our peace of mind."
In The Message, Eugene Peterson's excellent translation of the Bible, Jesus exhorts his disciples not to spend their lives worrying:
“Has anyone by fussing before the mirror ever gotten taller by so much as an inch? If fussing can’t even do that, why fuss at all?" (Luke 12:25)
I love the way Jesus likens worrying with the absurd act of trying to will yourself into growing taller. You can't do it. You can buy boots with high heels or stand on a box, but you can't actually add to your height by "fussing before the mirror."
Then Jesus goes on to say, “What I’m trying to do here is get you to relax, not be so preoccupied with getting so you can respond to God’s giving." Luke 12:29
And right there is where Jesus gets to the heart of the matter. The reason we worry is because we've gotten way too preoccupied with what we want and in so doing we often overlook all of the blessings God wants to give us.
So, today I plan on replacing my worrisome thoughts with this prayer:
"God, I look around and I can't believe all of the wonderful things you've given me, the blessings you've showered upon me in your grace and love. Help me to let go of my own desires for my life, and open my heart up even more to be filled with the joy of your salvation, your will and your way."
Feel free to use that prayer today, or create your own. And may you let go of all of your preoccupations, worries and cares so that you are able to open your mind and heart to receive in joy what God wants for you.
And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.