Friday, June 08, 2007

Do you worry?

I do. I didn't always, really, but in recent years it's become more of a problem for me. Actually, I think the fact that I never considered myself a "worrier," only worrying about small things, left a chink in my armor, a breach in the wall, and allowed fear and worry to become a greater problem in my life. An unguarded strength became a double weakness. Perhaps I was too confident or self-assured in certain areas, and I just didn't worry. Not anymore.

I've been getting caught up on some of my podcasts, and this morning I listened to an excellent talk given by Dr. Charles Swindoll at a Dallas Theological Seminary chapel service (from 4/17/07). He had some good words to say about worry.

1. Anxiety highlights the human viewpoint, strangling God's viewpoint. I begin to see statistics and trends instead of seeing things from God's perspective. This produces fear.

2. Anxiety chokes our ability to distinguish the incidental from the essential. (Matt. 6:33) This produces distraction.

3. Anxiety twists worries around our mind so that we cannot relax and we become unfruitful and impatient. It strangles what would otherwise be the fruit of the Spirit in my life. This produces unfruitfulness.

4. Anxiety syphons our energy and our joy, making us judgemental of others. This produces negativity.

He spoke from Luke 10:38-42, the story of Mary and Martha. He pointed out that there are more of us in the Martha category than the Mary. "Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things." Does this describe you? It does me. Worried and bothered about so many things.

I worry when I add...
  • more things to an already full schedule
  • pressure by thinking "My image and reputation are involved in this."
  • expectations to what hasn't happened

...and that makes me angry.

I worry when I subtract...

  • God's presence from my crisis
  • prayer from my day
  • perspective from the moment of difficulty

...and that makes me doubt.

I worry when I multiply...

  • my problems by inserting human solutions
  • human solutions so rapidly that I miss the perspective
  • my fears with imagination (What if.....? Maybe....)

...and that makes me afraid.

I worry when I divide...

  • my life into the secular and the sacred
  • my day into the Lord's part and my part

...and that makes me forget.

So, angry, doubting, afraid and forgetting, I feel a lot like Martha. I think we've all been there, some of us may find ourselves there today.

May we remember that He is at work right now! God says that "before they call, I will answer; and while they are still speaking, I will hear." Isaiah 65:24

Heavenly Father, may I trust You for the things I have been worrying about and leave the results with You.


Linda said...

I'm going to print this one out Cyndi and study it a bit. It speaks to my heart.
I, like you, never thought I was a worrier. Then I began to listen to my own words and realized that I did indeed worry about a lot of things. When I can fully trust, I find that peace that passes understanding. It isn't there when my mind and heart are burdened by all the "what ifs ?". Thank you so much for this. As usual, you bless me!!

Mom of 5 said...

Amazing writing. Your blog is one that really makes me take a breath and think !

Christine said...

Wow, those are such great thoughts! I enjoyed Joanna Weaver's thoughts about worry in "Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World" as well. If you haven't checked out that book, I think you'd get a lot out of it.

Thanks for posting this- the lists of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division are things I should have on my mirror!

Susanne said...

This was excellent, Cyndi. Thanks for sharing Chuck Swindoll's teaching. I love his stuff. It's so practical and explained so well.

Dianne said...

That is so good. Stuff I've been thinking about recently. Thanks for sharing in such detail!

Walker said...

Whoa! Thank you for that post! I found your blog on "mom of 5" blog. This post was one meant for me! It made me stop looking at my situation from a "worldly" view. Because, that view was bringing fear into my life! I am a worrier! I need to be a Warrior in Prayer!
Thanks again!!!

Jessie's parents said...

That is good stuff and it is SO true. I wasn't such a worrier until after China. Now, it consumes me at times. I'm sure it is all related, as I am so much more aware of so many things, both seen and unseen. I needed to read this today (and probably every day). Thank you, Cyndi.

Susanne said...

Wonderful post!! I think I should print it out, too! I love Dr. Swindoll, and I am very much a "Martha"...but I am trying to develop my "Mary" side and chose the "better part". I just love your blog, and I thouroughly enjoyed my visit here. I will DEFNINTELY be back!!