"And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to [her] span of life?"
Ooh, me! I can! No, really God. I can. I'm a pro. I like to worry about what I think people think of me. I like to worry about worrying. I like to worry about things that haven't happened, and might not ever happen in addition to things that are happening because it makes me feel prepared. It has to add to my life! Why else would I spend all my energy--or lack thereof--perfecting it to a crippling science?
Sometimes I read scripture and think, I must be the exception to this rule. I mean, there's no way God really meant that worrying was COMPLETELY unproductive, right?
Ha. Yeah. Sorry, sister. Not quite. Not at all, actually.
I've really been meditating on this verse lately, and while I know it says we simply can't add to our life by worrying, I'm quite certain I regularly TAKE AWAY from my life with worry.
Everyone is all about productivity in this age of entrepreneurship and "passion work." I've seen people I know logging a week of their time, simply to see where all of it is going, almost like a Dave-Ramsey, budget-overhaul of time.
Imagine with me, okay? Imagine it's a Monday, and you've decided this week you will track your worrying. You will push a button (imagining, right?) every time you worry, and you will push it again when you stop worrying. Over the course of one week, this will help you to log how much time you spend worrying. THEN, IMAGINE--here's where it gets weird--that amount of time was literally subtracted from your life.
Worried about whether or not the cashier at Charming Charlie thought you were a weirdo? That's five less minutes with your husband in this lifetime.
Do you feel like you won't have enough time to get ready for this trip, or the school year, or your dinner party? Subtract another thirty minutes from that worrying, and see what you have to work with now.
Seems silly, right? I know. But how many times are we literally paralyzed by our own fear of not-enoughness that we lose our gumption to be productive, or just sit and stare into the scary abyss for five minutes or thirty, or let it ruin our entire day?
What would happen if you used that five minutes to send a friend an encouraging text message? What about if you picked up your room for five minutes rather than worrying about what a mess you are? What if you just brain-dumped everything into a journal for five minutes? What if, Heaven-forbid, you just SMILED for five minutes?
That last one got a little weird. I mean, what if someone walked in on you just...SMILING??
Aaaanyway, you get the gist.
So, I want you to write down one thing you are worrying about right now, and one action you are going to take to counteract that worry. Don't fix it. Don't deal with the problem. Simply take a shuffle, a step, or a leap in some direction--any joyful direction--rather than standing in one spot, sitting in fear, or lying prostrate on the floor thinking about how you might have to worry about something that might happen at maybe some point.
Everybody with me? If you're feelin' gutsy and vulnerable (which I love), leave that worry>>action thought in the comments!
Go forth and know that you are loved, you are not enough, but He is.
P.S. I've seriously been working on my RBF (sorry, language), because my students always tell me I look angry unless I try to smile. Oops. When I blow-dry my hair, I try to smile. Like, really, really smile. It is impossible to be in a bad mood while you are smiling as you blow-dry your hair. Go try it. Let's be weird together.