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“Take care that your hearts aren’t dulled by…the anxieties of day-to-day life” Luke 21:34, CEB
Worrywart. “Somebody who worries entirely too much” (Urban Dictionary). “A person who worries excessively especially about unimportant matters” (Wiktionary).
Worrywart. Something not to be!
I don’t know about you, but when I’m worrying about things what’s going on, the moment blows right on by, unnoticed. Stuff I have no control over looms large, blocking the view of what I want to/should be seeing. I become all-consumed. Tied-up in knots. Short-tempered. Unfocused. The little things become big things and the really important things lose their significance.
Worrywart. Don’t be one!
Easier said than done…not worrying, not being anxious. News cycles bring constant reports about unfairness, about cavalierly-dismissed wrong behaviors, about the relativity of reality, about the tragedy and the heroism of first responders and unwillingness to deal with the root causes.
Jesus was a healer. Jesus was a master storyteller. Jesus was compassionate. Jesus was empathetic. Jesus challenged the status quo. Jesus knew his WHY…so that people “could live life to the fullest” (John 10.10, CEB).
Jesus was a teacher. So that people could understand he reminded them of what they had heard in the past and then gave them new more relevant meaning—“You have heard that it was said…But I say to you” (Matthew 5: 43, 44, CEB). In another of his guiding conversations, Jesus said, “Take care that your hearts aren’t dulled by…the anxieties of day-to-day life” (Luke 21:34, CEB).
Stay focused. Keep “the main thing the main thing” (Stephen Covey, author of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People). Concentrate on Jesus’ essential revelation—love. Let that guiding principle, that essential WHY, lead you. As does my home church does, so, too, decide that you will “seek to love God above all things and [your] neighbors as [yourself]” (Christ Church United Methodist).
So, this year, during the days of Advent, make some decisions for yourself and about yourself. Choose to shrug off the things that make you anxious. Take control of the stuff that makes you anxious. See the beauty in life. Accept the invitations to the special moments. And love God and everyone around you…because by doing so you will recognize the Christ Child coming alive for you and within you all over again! “Take care that your hearts aren’t dulled by…the anxieties of day-to-day life” (Luke 21:34, CEB)
Prayer: Holy One of God, come and live with us and within us again. Gently coax us not to be anxious about everything...or even anything. Calmly and kindly remind us that you know what we need even before we do. Love us in ways that we can see and can understand. In showing us The Way set us free to love you and everyone around us, especially in this Advent adventure! Amen.
By: Rev. Dr. Arthur McClanahan, Director of Communications, Iowa Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church