- Matt 6: 24-34
- Dependence on God
I came across this reflection of Milton Berle about worry. He said: “Life is very simple. The first thing to remember about life is: don’t worry about it. Really, there are only two things to worry about; either you’re successful or you’re not successful. If you’re successful, there’s nothing to worry about. If you’re not successful, there are only two things to worry about; your health is good or you are sick. If your health is good there is nothing to worry about. If your health is bad, there are only two things to worry about; either you’re going to live or you’re not going to live. If you live there’s nothing to worry about. And if you don’t live, you have only two things to worry about; either you’re going to heaven or you’re not going to heaven. If you’re going to heaven, there’s nothing to worry about. And if you go to other place (like hell), you’ll be busy shaking hands with all your old friends, you won’t have time to worry.”
Our age has been called the age of anxiety or worry. Anxiety comes from the Latin angere, which means ‘to choke’. In other words when you are anxious or stress and need to breathe fully and freely, you feel choked. It is like having a drowning man’s grip on your own throat. That is why Jesus in these 11 verses comprising today’s gospel reading, three times that He urges us not to worry. Maybe because, as William Arthur Ward said, worry distorts our thinking, disrupts our work, disquiets our soul, disturbs our body and disfigures our face. It destroys our friends, demoralizes our life, defeats our faith and debilitates our energy.
But in these 11 verses, Jesus aligns, one after the other, seven reasons why we should not worry. In the 365 Days with the Lord (2007), they are as follows: (1) the same God who created life in you can be trusted with the details of your life (v. 25). (2) Worrying about the future hampers your efforts for today (v. 26). (3) Worrying is more harmful than helpful (v. 27). (4) God does not ignore those who depend on Him (vv. 26-30). (5) Worry shows a lack of faith and understanding of God (vv. 31-32). (6) There are real challenges God wants us to face, and worrying keeps us from facing those challenges (v. 33). (7) Living one day at a time keeps us from being consumed with worry (v. 34).
And what are some other antidotes to worry? There are many antidotes to worry and one of them could be the one that I read entitled, How to Worry Scientifically, which I would like to share with you and can help us also to overcome our own worries:
- Never worry over humors or what “they” say. First get the facts.
- Know definitely your worry problem. Write it down. Face it.
- Worry about only one problem at a time.
- Set a definite day, afternoon or night for worrying.
- Never worry in bed, in the dining room, living room or at church.
- Select an air-conditioned room. Lean back in an easy chair.
- Set a time limit. If you must go beyond it, give yourself credit for time-and-a-half.
- Never worry with a frowning face. Smile, sing or whistle.
- Never worry when you are tired, sick, angry or depressed.
- Never worry while working, playing, visiting, shopping or gossiping.
- There are two times never to worry: when you can help the situation and when you cannot.
- Never worry alone. Take it to the Lord and leave it there (Prov. 3:5-6).
And so let us not worry about tomorrow and remember God is already there.