The Evolution of Worry
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If I only knew then what I know now.
The proverbial hindsight is 20/20 curse is something most if not all of us have muttered to ourselves and not just about buying Apple or Google stock. Looking back on high school or college many no doubt have said similar words.
It didnít take me too long out of high school to understand those words either. Maturity and life experience really does tend to shape and focus your outlook. I can remember asking my Dad prior to getting married in my late 20s if he had any advice. By then I was fully attuned to the fact that things change and what I sweated over when I was younger really had no bearing on me now. My Dad and I were at Costco eating lunch Ė thatís how much I remember wanting to learn.
He didnít exactly have any pearls of wisdom. Iím not exactly sure what I was looking for but I am sure I wanted something to the effect of you know how you are worried about (fill in the blank), well when youíre 40 that goes away. Trust me.
Thereís a key word I just mentioned.
Now, had my dad or anyone else for that mattered told me when I was 16 that the girl in the front of the room (so close yet so far you know she never seemed to notice), that Iíd get over it, I am quite sure I would not have gone to class the next day with a fresh perspective. Or how about fitting in? Grades! Getting a car. Finding a job. Dropping out of honors math. Not comprehending Chemistry or AP Biology Ė at all.
You know how many times Iíve stressed and fretted over such small, minor details in my job? Trying to be the absolute best to impress the boss man (or woman). Funny thing is, I canít really remember anything specific now. So, 10 years ago at my job when I did this or that to prove my worth I guess it really had little bearing on the rest of my life. Now I am not saying one should skate by. Hard work is essential for anyone wishing to get ahead in life professionally, financially and even socially. Everything takes work, dedication and compassion.
But I worried about it.
In Matthew 6:25, 34 it says For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink, nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing. So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
I realize Iíve taken a long time to get to my point. Lately Iíve been wondering, if I make it to an old age if I will look back on my life and think, ďIf I only knew then what I know now.Ē More poignantly, will I sit back and wonder why I stressed for all those wasted years, all those precious wasted years. But I also know that stress and worry will accompany me at any age.
Iíll take it a final step further. Once this life is over and all is revealed, will we scratch our heads and even in fact, lament over wishing to do ďlifeĒ again knowing what we now know? Granted there will be no sorrow or grief in heaven so I am not sure anyone would actually lament, except those who reject God, but once we are in His presence will it finally dawn on us that nothing, absolutely nothing in this life, no matter how tragic, how depressing, how gut-wrenchingly painful, was not worth all the time and worry we put into it.
Matthew 18:3 Jesus says ďTruly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.Ē
I understand this passage is about sin but could it also be more than that? Do you ever see children worry? They donít. They anticipate. Children anticipate Christmas morning; we worry about paying for Christmas morning. Anticipate means to eagerly wait for somethingís arrival or for something to happen (thatís off the top of my head). God has not called on us to worry about His return but rather to anticipate His return.
In high school I worried about high school things, which even sounds high school now. In college I worried about college things. In my 20s, I worried about different things than I do now which will be different than what I worry about in 10 years and 20 years. And, I have to expect that once itís all over I am going to wonder why I worried about all those things.
Matthew 17:20 (Matthew again!) Jesus says ďIf you have the faith of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ĎMove from here to there,í and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you.Ē
For me and I think for many of us, removing worry from our lives is like moving a mountain. This says something about how little my faith is. If I truly had the faith of a mustard seed, nothing that happens to me in this life would matter.
I wonder if I should worry about that.
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