From a recent post to the Jack’s Winning Words blog comes this Charlie Brown quote – “Worrying won’t stop the bad stuff from happening; It just stops you from enjoying the good.”
Charles Schultz shared quite a bit of wisdom through his Peanuts comic strip of the years, as have other creators of great comic strips – the strip Calvin comes to mind. Today’s quote reminds us that worrying not only wastes time, but solves nothing and may actually cause harm by preventing one from seeing and enjoying the good things in life.
Worrying is certainly different from planning. One can look at some future event and do good planning for it – formulate a strategy for approaching it, what things to be aware of or to avoid and such. Planning is good. Worrying, however, is more about imagining all of the bad things that might happen, most of which are out of your control, and trying to think up solutions for them, too. Why worry about the weather, for instance, since you cannot control it. One may plan for bad weather by packing an umbrella or a jacket , in case it get cold; but spending time worrying about how it might change thins does not good.
At the root of our worries is something that I’ve opined her about in the past – our need to solve the unsolvable. Our minds are always trying to find the answer, to solve the problem, to see a way out of the situation. In many cases there is no solution, things just have to happen. In those cases, the “solution” is to let go and stop trying to find the solution. The prayer phrase, “Not my will, but Thy will be done” is the solution in those situations. Putting your trust in God’s hands and accepting that whatever happens He will be there with you to get you through it is the key to stopping the worrying.
Many times our worries are about upcoming interpersonal interactions – how will my date go or how will this person react to what I have to tell them. We are concerned (worried) about how we will be perceived by the other person or how the other person will react to the event. Maybe we are even afraid of the reaction the other person, and so we worry about it. None of that worry will have any effect on the situation, other than to consume us and prevent us from enjoying other things in the interim.
Once you have given your worries to God, you are free to turn your attention to those good things that are going on in your life. You may be surprised how much that is good was going on around you while your attention was focused upon worrying. Maybe the Bobby McFerrin song “Don’t worry, be happy” will start playing in your mind.
There’s a new week ahead. Don’t worry, God’s got your back.