generallyanxious.com

Matthew 6:25-34, Do Not Worry

Matthew 6:25-34

25 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 than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 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? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?

28 And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 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—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Back to School Anxiety

Every year before school starts, my church has an event called “Blessing of the Backpacks”. Children bring their backpacks, filled with school supplies. During worship service, a special blessing is said, and later, the school supplies are given to children in need.

I wonder: if they did this when I was a kid, would it have helped me to know my backpack had been blessed? That there was a congregation full of people that witnessed its blessing? That I could touch my backpack anytime I started to feel anxious? That there was a physical, tangible something I could clutch onto and remember there were people wishing me well?

Similarly, my church gives a special prayer for our college students before they return to campus. I think I would have cut out this announcement from the church newsletter and kept it in my bag so I had a visual reminder that my church was praying for me and will continue to do so.

Did my parents wish me well every day? I can truthfully say they did – they have always been supportive. But having an outward showing of community support – an event, a ritual – takes the ordinary daily routines and makes them stand out. I’m not suggesting this could alleviate anxiety, but it might be one of the things that brings comfort to a child as they go through their day.

A friend of mine pins a ribbon to the inside of her son’s pocket. While at school if he gets nervous, he can simply put his hand in his pocket and be reminded his mom cares about him. We could never use too many things that are outward symbols of loved ones supporting us.

Fool in the Rain, by Led Zeppelin


“The thoughts of a fool’s kind of carelessI’m just a fool waiting on the wrong block” – Led Zeppelin

This song is about a man waiting on the corner for his love. He sings out, describing how much he’s yearning to see her:

“And the warmth of your smile starts a-burnin’
And the thrill of your touch gives me fright
And I’m shaking so much, really yearning
Why don’t you show up, make it all right?”

 

But as the verses go on, he begins to doubt if she’s coming, and worries if she even loves him at all. And then we get the surprise at the end – he begins running in the rain and finds, after all that worrying, he was waiting on the wrong block.

 

When I was little, my brother told me he felt the song meant “things aren’t as bad as they seem”. There have been many instances when I’ve reflected on this, where my worry and negative thoughts were snowballing out of control, and then this song comes on the radio.

 

Worry, doubt and negativity are natural. But are they always necessary? Since I was so prone to negative thinking, a therapist told me to consciously think positive thoughts. She said thinking positively results in a more realistic view of life.

 

So don’t be a fool! Try to catch yourself when your thoughts become “careless”.