Published 6:00 am Friday, August 24, 2018
Part of the greatest joy in life is looking forward to what another day may bring forth, and part of the greatest sorrow in life is dreading what another day may bring forth.
Worry is a cruel taskmaster. Yet, I find myself often held captive by worry. Corry ten Boom said, “Worrying is carrying tomorrow’s load with today’s strength- carrying two days at once. It is moving into tomorrow ahead of time. Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength.” She as a prisoner of war held by the Nazis during the Holocaust, she knew well of what she spoke. She and her sister were held captive for years, not knowing from one day to the next if they would be slaughtered. Her sister died, but she lived on to a ripe old age sharing the love of God and the power of forgiveness.
Benjamin Franklin advised, “Do not anticipate trouble, or worry about what may never happen.”
According to statistics, 85 percent of what people worry about never happens. Of the 15 percent that does happen, people find that they can and do handle it. Sometimes they must face that there is absolutely nothing that can be done to change the circumstances that caused them such fear and robbed them of peace.
Worry brings about stress. For a person who worries constantly, they labor under the unhealthy state of stress constantly. Their whole life is impacted in negative ways about things they only imagine which may never happen and they are robbed of joy.
It is impossible to be filled with joy and consumed with worry at the same time. As one who is prone to worry, I find myself often solemn instead of being the joyful and happy person I want to be.
Where does worry take place? It is born in the human brain, and the brain is the control center of our bodies. Worry or anxiety disorders are the major cause of mental illness in the United States in people 18 or older according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. Children of parents who are worriers are prone to develop those same tendencies. Worry, itself, may not be a disease, but it is at the root cause of many afflictions.
Is it possible to reprogram our brain not to worry? We can. Reprogramming the brain is referred to as neuroplasticity. It is the process of repeatedly choosing a different way of thought and creating a different mindset. By cutting out worry and eliminating stress, it is believed that we can live longer, happier, healthier lives.
A well-known passage in the Bible is devoted to the pointlessness of worry in Matthew 6. “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 labour 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?”
In my life it comes down to this. If I put my trust in God completely, there is no room for worry. Whatever comes, good or bad, He will be right there beside of me, helping embrace it all.
Reach longtime Enterprise columnist Judith Victoria Hensley at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Facebook. Check out her blog: One Step Beyond the Door.