Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Don't Worry, Be Happy

Remember the carefree days of childhood, when your biggest worries concerned whether to play with trucks or blocks, dolls or dress up?

Worry has many fancy names such as panic, anxiety, and phobias. Yet there's nothing fancy about it. That ache in the center of your gut. Those constant thoughts that won't let you sleep. And with the school year just starting, I'm sure there are dozens of things to worry about: Will the other kids like me? . . . Will I be excepted? . . . Will he ask me out? . . . Can I pass Chemistry? English? World History? . . . Will I crash during driver's ed? . . . Do I need to lose ten pounds? . . . Will my SAT scores be good enough? . . . Will I be grounded for life? It's amazing there's time to concentrate on schoolwork at all!

Of course, some worry is good. Being worried about that history test forces you to study. And worrying about STDs may firm up your resolve about staying abstinent. But what about the stuff we can't control, like the West Nile virus or terrorists? Or other people's bad opinions about us no matter how much we try to be nice?

“Worry is interest paid on trouble before it comes due,” says William R. Ingle. I don't know about you, but I can think of a dozen things I worried about in the past that never came true. All those sleepless nights for no reason. All those headaches thinking about things that never happened.

Today, thankfully, I do better than I have in days gone by. I guess it's because I've learned there's Someone who already has everything under control. In the Bible, God refers to Himself as the Alpha and Omega. The beginning and the end. He was there yesterday, and you can be sure He's hanging out in tomorrow too.

This morning, I was flipping through one of my old journals, and I came across this poem from the book, Streams in the Desert.

“God is in every tomorrow,
Therefore I live for today,
Certain of finding at sunrise,
Guidance and strength for the way;
Power for each moment of weakness,
Hope for each moment of pain,
Comfort for every sorrow,
Sunshine and joy after rain.”

I love that first line, "God is in every tomorrow." Sure, you still have that history test and that kid at school who seems determined to make your life miserable. But you know what? God's there waiting in tomorrow.

And today, He has the guidance and the strength to assist you with whatever the day may hold.

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