Don’t Worry, Be Happy!
I notice as I get older, I feel more vulnerable in many ways. My body lets me know that parts are wearing out. My mind seems to forget things that once were nearly automatic. I hope my finances will last just one day longer than I last. Will I be able to afford the medications I need to sustain my life with quality? Will I still be able to “get around” so I do not become more isolated? So many new challenges at a time when I seem less able to meet them. Senior Cartoon character. Maxine, says, “Ever get the feeling your stuff strutted off without you?” There is plenty to occupy the anxious Senior mind.
And 21st century Christians do not have a corner on worry. In Matthew 6 Jesus teaches his followers how to deal with life’s concerns. In one of the most beautiful passages of scripture he says “
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life ?
“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
St Paul said, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” (Philippians 4:6) For the Christian, THIS is the antidote for worry and anxiety. We want to present it to God—-and leave it there. Give it to someone equipped, and willing, to take it all.
Someone once said, “Don’t tell me worry doesn’t help. Whenever I worry about something, it never seems to happen.” Does this sound familiar? It sure does to me. When I think of the countless times I’ve wasted valuable minutes, hours, days,—–more—– dwelling on “what if, what if not, and if only.”
And yet, as I look back, no matter what has happened in my life, God was always there to pick me up, dust me off, and encourage me on my way. The other day I started to worry—-yet one more time! I thought to myself, after 60 some years of experiencing God’s saving presence, time after time in everything that has happened in your life, why are you wasting your time worrying?” In that moment I felt God’s peace flood over me in a powerful way.
At this stage of our lives, we seniors are challenged to put our spiritual money where our mouth has been for decades. We have sung that “Our hope is built on nothing less…”, “A mighty fortress is our God…”, “Be still my soul…In every change, He faithful will remain…” Today, our hope and strength are in our loving Father. Be anxious for nothing. God is with you in all your needs at this very moment.