Of all the synonyms I’ve seen for ‘worry,’ BURDEN best puts into perspective what one who is worried can be said to be laden with. And while yet there are descriptive words such as anxiety and apprehension which amplify the negativity of worry, picturing a man groaning under the weight of a burden gives a perfect picture of an unwelcome predicament.
These last few months, I’ve tasked my brain more than I ever have at any point in my life on different ways the future could play out. Perhaps it has to do with a feeling of a huge sense of impending responsibility weighing upon me, perhaps it’s something else. One thing I’ve learnt all through though is that worry never solves a problem. It rather creates another one. It makes you worried about your worry and makes you worry as well about the problems you’re worrying about. In case you got lost for a minute there, my use of the word WORRY that much in the previous sentence was to illustrate a scenario of outwardly growing concentric circles of problems. Imagine being worried about a worry!
I recently discussed a few of my fears with a friend to whom I owe a lot. His pieces of advice and words of encouragement coupled with my residual knowledge helped puts things in perspective. Key that day in all we said was: “Why not take life slowly and take things one step at a time?”
Now, this is something I’ve read and learnt and tell myself on any ordinary day so it wasn’t exactly like I was hearing it for a first time. No! Not at all. However, I believe that somewhere along the line, I had been speaking to myself with my tongue in my cheek. Maybe hearing what we know already from the mouths of others helps in setting the records straight and putting things further into perspective. This could be an explanation for why the talk gave me closure.
In Christendom (The turf I’m very familiar with), the Bible admonishes us in more places than one to steer clear of unnecessary worry as it solves not a problem but only adds another. What better way to put it succinctly than use the example of birds who have not a care in the world but yet have all their needs met just when those needs arise? We believe this world to be here now but in some time not too far from now to be wiped off. Now, if this happens tomorrow, what will become of the worry I would have had today of tomorrow? Goes down the drain? Definitely!
Worry robs us of the pleasures of the moment. It deprives us of the chance to see the beauty in the ongoing life and imparts us with the unwanted ability to see the possibilities of gloom in the future. Successful businessmen see an opportunity and seize it, they never worry to plan before they even know what it is they want. They don’t force a business, they simply enjoy themselves. So if it’s the possibilities ahead your worried about, if it’s the business you know you want to be involved in whose idea has not materialized yet that is weighing you down, I’d say FREE YOURSELF! Enjoy yourself since more often than not, you do not know what God has in store for you.
Continue in what still serves and grows you, what you find you can do easily, what gives you joy and a sense of accomplishment and purpose. The truth is you get your bucks mostly by ‘what is in your hand.’ This is the phenomenon God used in the time of Moses to make His name known in all the land. The staff was all Moses had and that was exactly what his most potent weapon became. Soccer superstar Lionel Messi when quizzed about his successes so far had this to say: “Work becomes play when you do what you love to do.”
I know the topic seems to have changed course. This is due largely to the fact that frankly, the root of all our worries stems from what we want and what we have at hand, hence the broaching of the subject from the ‘purpose’ perspective
Be happy in everything. Life is too short to only experience brief moments of happiness when the bells come jingling. God is bothered about you already. Why do His job for him when you have other things you should be doing? At least if you cannot eat or sleep or work (the other things you have to do), then you praise him fearlessly and carelessly. He does the whole planning after all, then He guides you along the path. All you need to do is to follow.
The good thing about placing all things in the hands of the creator is that he knows the easiest way and as such will lead you along such a path. If however you find difficulty/obstacles along the path you believe Him to have led you, report back to Him and He’d provide another. The irony is He had knowledge of the non-workability of the first route. Sometimes these things are tests for us so as to learn to depend wholly on Him.
We don’t need to be special prophets with dynamic anointing to discern His will. All we need is to give Him the driving seat, to ask Him questions and expect answers. Our relationship with Him should be as that with a being, not with an abstract entity created to make us fear sin. Our teachers have not taught us well. Maybe it’s because they are not all knowing. If they were, they’d have hammered it in since the days of our infancy to learn to trust God unequivocally.
In conclusion, Peter’s INITIAL walk on water is a perfect example of how to live. He simply did let go of everything, blocked out the negativity the winds whispered and the waves roared and let allowed God be in absolute control. A leap of faith, just a leap of faith is what we need to scale through our troubles.
Remember: Worries never solve a thing, they only compound already complex situations.
Stay on top!
The inspiration for this charge is most definitely ascribed to a friend and brother Tolu Oyekanmi; he had the perfect words when I was sinking in my self-created pool of worry. The charge is however dedicated to all who have lost faith in some way in some area of their lives. When there’s life, there’s hope. You know not the future so why worry? Take it one step at a time, one day at a time.