Yes, I am doing it! I am absconding duty, deserting my position as God and running off irresponsibly to freedom. I am putting being God on hold to see what will happen. I have said yes to the call to care for nothing and be “irresponsible”! I am leaving the true God in charge for a while, at least between now and December, yes, a whole quarter of a year!
I read a great article recently, “I gave up worry for lent” and I decided to do the same for the rest of the year. So while I am away, sipping my brightly coloured drink ( the ones with a little umbrella on the side), lounging under a big umbrella on the sand somewhere, God will be in charge. I do hope that the sun will remember to rise on time in each of the 40 world time zones, that the short rains will be on time for us to plant beans and the jacarandas will bloom on schedule. I also hope that my kids will remember to grow the requisite number of millimeters in their height per day and that when they eat, their bodies will absorb the necessary nutrients.
You see, worry for me is the gravity that holds the world in space. While I may not have admitted it to anyone, I live as though it’s is necessary for me to worry, because in my role as God if I stopped to worry for a moment who knows the kinds of unthinkable things that would happen? The continents would possibly collide and you would all go hurtling into space. My mind more often than not automatically slips to worry mode as its default position. Don’t get me wrong, I will be quick to let you know, mine are not big fears about the end of the world and the mark of the beast. They are not even phobia’s that hold me in the house, I have no fear of heights or even the creepy crawliwes that are frequent visitors in our house.
Oh, no! I will be quick to assure you. They are a million tiny “reasonable” things. Things that I think its my business to worry over, that I think it would be irresponsible not to worry over. Things that I believe every enlightened and caring person should worry over and as such I am known to embark on recruitment campaigns to explain to my friends why they should join me in the worry band. Twelve years later, I am still trying to explain to husband dearest his exact role in harmonizing the notes in my worry song. Thank goodness he is not easy to convert.
Amy Simpson in her excellent book, “Anxious; Choosing faith in a world of worry” has the following to say about fear, anxiety and worry. Fear is a response to an immediate and known threat. Anxiety is a response to a possibility. Although both fear and anxiety may help us in the short term, neither is a healthy place to stay. They should motivate us to appropriate and effective action, then go away as soon as they’re not needed. Unfortunately, some of us choose to stay in this place of unease by indulging in worry. Worry therefore is an action. It’s a choice we make to stay in that place of anxiety that was designed to protect us from immediate danger, not to see us through everyday life.
So, convicted that I am dependent on worry, that its my narcotic, and that its an act of rebellion against God who requires our trust, I have began to look at the worries that energise my life. That are always humming in the background. Some of them and I have to tell you this is not fiction include;
My relationship with God, is he happy with me? Am I praying enough, and just the right words? How about witnessing, when am I going to “talk” to that person?
Worry that my children will turn their back on our faith and values no matter what I do. After all I do know some pretty upstanding Christians whose children have apparently wandered away, got lost in drugs and seemingly meaningless lives. Did they make some parenting blunders? Which ones? Where was God to help?
Being poor and you know how relative that can be. Having watched a family whose fortunes turned for the worse and have not re-turned and knowing they are sincere servants of God. I wonder, even if for some reason they were not wise enough, couldn’t the Lord have helped them, spoke to them, gave them wisdom?
Being a friend, you would think this should be a natural thing but it often sends me into a tailspin. I find myself flailing in the bottomless pit of worry that I might just say the wrong thing to a friend. I worry about my tendencies to be insensitive, a know-it-all, speaking when I should be silent, projecting my fears onto them and being too opinionated. Trapped in the knowledge that I am not the perfect friend who knows the right thing to say, knows when to speak more or when to speak less.
Children’s education…don’t even get me started…Christian, local education, international, or homeschool? Are Piano and swimming enough extra-curricular activities? Maybe I should add tennis, I hear the eye hand coordination improves their math skills as well? The grades, should I get a tutor? Maybe those spelling problems are a sign of dyslexia, should I take them for testing?
So, three days ago, I decided to give it a try. To stop worrying for the rest of the year, because you understand, I have been God for a long time, I am unable to commit for a lifetime all in one go. So, when my usual worries have come buzzing around…what will this friend say, how will that action look, what if….I have firmly told them, not now, I am currently on vacation. I left God in charge! I am not worrying! I cannot begin to explain to you the freedom, the liberation, the joy and peace of leaving someone else in charge. I do truly feel like I am in some tropical paradise, enjoying the sun and water to boot!
When you see me, you can ask me how its going. And when you remember, do pray for me. Pray that I will get used to this life and not attempt to come back and stage a coup d’é•tat to dethrone Jehovah, the true and the living God who is indeed the one in charge. That I will set aside my grand illusions of being God, and leave Him to run the universe. The one who in many ways assures me and us all that He will neither leave nor forsake us. He will not go off and leave us by ourselves. That I am simply to look at the birds of the air and how he feeds them and the lilies of the field and how he clothes them and that I am not to worry about things that my heavenly father knows well that I need. That I will root out the false god of worry that I have depended on for so long and I will listen to the one who assures me that, no matter what, underneath are his everlasting arms.
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