…do not worry about your life, what you will eat, or about your body, or what you will wear (Luke 12:22).
Do not worry. What hasn’t been said about worry and anxiety?
Maybe, but if I committed to this one biblical instruction, “do not worry,” I’d have a lifetime of job security.
Luke 12:22 lists four things not to worry about:
Initially I dismissed myself from the worrying crowd. I have restlessness and concerns, but I hadn’t considered myself to be a worrier compared to how I see anxiety in other people.
However, when I read Luke’s writing, I got a nudge to track my daily stressors. Thinking the list would be relatively short, I grabbed ½ sheet of paper to track my worries.
“Do not worry about what you’ll eat.”
- Where can I refill my water bottle?
- I wish I had eaten a larger breakfast.
- I need to stop at the grocery. I hope they aren’t busy when I go. (Is wishful thinking considered worry)?
“Do not worry about what you’ll wear.”
- Why didn’t I wear a belt with these pants?
- I’ll need to get warmer socks for the winter.
- I wonder about the dress code for tomorrow’s conference (Does wonder count as worry? “Yes, Christina. Your “curiosity” led you to wander from the task at hand”).
“Do not worry about your body.”
- My calves hurt after walking on concrete all day.
- I’m cold. Where can I warm a mug of tea?
- What a lengthy delay. I should make some phone calls or check voicemail while I wait.
- I need to go to the bathroom (Relatively speaking, I’ve learned that self-control has become child’s play compared to bladder control)!
“Do not worry about your life.”
Don’t worry about my life? Health. Funerals. Births. Graduations. School schedule. Work. Family. Community. Weddings. Don’t worry?
God reminds me that He’s brought me this far (2 Samuel 7:18). I understand that promise to mean that He’s had my life in His hands, and I’ll stay in His hands, yet…. what if? Do “what if’s” count as worry?
I looked at my day’s worry list, which had accumulated from ½ page to nearly 2 pages. I was hit between the eyes by some bullet points. There wasn’t anything that didn’t fit into at least one “don’t worry” category. Life. Food. Body. Attire.
My late-night weary voice questioned, “If I eliminated, or at least decreased my concerns, what would I think about? What more productive and peaceful thoughts could fill my mind?
I dare to become aware!
I keep that original list as a reminder to observe repeated concerns. (To me, “concerns” sound more acceptable than worry or anxiety). I’m challenged to replace woes with trust that God, creation, universe, and spirit will make a way.
Rather than write the strategies I’m trying, I ask you. How are you showing up for life today?
Your repeated worries. Your level of anxiety. What do you want to try differently to claim peace?
Please share at least one tip about how you find calm in chaos. Let’s replace panic with peace, fellow warrior.
Be kind to yourself. Be gentle with others. Remember, we’re all living this minute, this hour, this day for the first (and last) time.
Gotta go! It’s time to pack for a workshop I’m teaching. I wonder if I can fit my clothes and snacks in one carry-on bag…
From worrier to warrior,