Worry & Lent
So it’s getting to be the middle of the semester, about the time I start to get stressed. Between schoolwork, planning for summer, figuring out living situations for next year, applying to scholarships, and all the other hustle and bustle of being a student, it’s easy to feel a little overwhelmed. Just a tad. Or a lot.
At pause this week, Pastor Kate asked us to think about what things were separating us from God and from the person God made us to be. And I realized that I worry about a lot of things. And that this worrying is keeping me from living my life in the fullest, like God intended. My home pastor once described worrying as a rocking chair. It gives you something to do but it doesn’t get you anywhere. Which is how I’m feeling right now. Worrying is keeping me busy. But it isn’t taking me anywhere.
And while I realize this, it’s really hard for me to give up worrying. Believe me, I’ve tried! I try to remember Matthew 6:25-34, the lilies of the field passage.
“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his ispan of life?28 And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
34 “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”
But then I get to thinking, that’s fine and good for those lilies, but they don’t have student loans! Or exams! Or papers! Or friendships that need tending! It seems like an unfair comparison.
I guess I don’t actually have an answer to that one. As I say all the time at work, “I’m just a student. I don’t actually know what’s going on.” I do know, though, that I always come back to this one line (maybe because it’s the last one). “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” So for this Lent, I want to make a better effort to turn away from worrying. Because rocking chairs are inefficient forms of transportation.
-Meghan with the H