Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. (Philippians 4:6 HCSB)
For most of my life, I’ve been a worrier. Probably because I spend a lot of time with someone who frequently says, “But what if [insert horrible catastrophe here] happens?” The fear sparked by that question has caused lots of drama and sleepless nights over the years.
You know how it goes. You think through multiple scenarios and script what to say or strategize what to do. Then while you wait for something to happen, you second-guess all your plans and modify them. And then you think of another situation that you might have to deal with, and you have to come up with a possible solution for it while remembering what you are going to do about the original potential crisis.
A few years ago, while carrying several of these burdens, I analyzed how many times these worst cases actually materialized. A conservative estimate is one time out of ten. How many hours—no, years—of my life have been consumed with worrying over nothing?
One day, my dear friend asked me, “What are we going to do if [cataclysmic event] happens?” and I said, “Can we worry about it if and when it happens? I’m too busy to worry about it now.”
“But shouldn’t we be prepared?”
“Why waste time preparing for something that may not even happen?”
The funny thing is, once we acknowledge that a possibility for disaster exists, I think our brains work on it subconsciously, because on those rare occasions that we’ve actually faced a genuine setback, we’ve handled it satisfactorily in the moment. Or maybe God really does have our backs.
Now it’s your turn. Do you panic when you think of possible disasters? Do you ever waste time worrying about something that doesn’t even happen? Are you able to turn off negative emotions when dealing with hypothetical situations? Share in the comments below.