Don't Worry, Be Happy
By: Rev. Suzie Chamness
Seems I have heard that maybe one time too much lately and I am quite the happy optimist so when does thinking or concern go from worry to anxiety? Psalms 37 speaks a lot about concern. It indicates that we should not worry about people who do not have our best interests at heart.
We should not worry about any injustice we might encounter from anyone who is jealous. When we are comfortable with our relationship with God and we are patient, there should not be any concern on our parts about how others make their money or how they may think of us because God takes care of those with ill will.
If we can learn to concentrate on the end results and be less concerned for our day to day injustice, we will live much happier lives. Our following the right teaching of God through faith, love and patience will be the reward of the promise of salvation and being with Christ in a much more peaceful land.
In Philippians chapter 4 Paul writes, "Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God's peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus."
Sounds simple enough but then Paul does, doesn't he? I believe in praying and no doubt about most everything. I believe that if I didn't I would be a basket case. I believe in asking for what I need, however restitution might be questionable were I to need help from God in stopping the trying times that I feel I am put through.
As a GLBTQ person, I feel the discomfort from others which adds to my own. Yet, I can't expect that God will relieve all this. I think we are given challenges and tests daily when we deal with people. People are cruel is a well known adage and is often true. Usually the cruelty comes when people are not willing to get to know me and all of us personally. It is much easier to put us into a huge melting (smelling) pot and call us or cook us all alike.
I dislike the evangelical way of loving the person and hating the sin. I can't see myself as a sinner following my life in the manner God made me. Actually I can't see how who I am can be separated from the love that I have given to me from God for the person that I can spend my life with. This is to say that all this does concern me when I dwell on it and I try hard not to do so because it frustrates me and leads me to anger toward others. Even justified anger is hurtful to me and if not well guarded against others.
I believe worry and stress comes from dwelling on what tomorrow will bring. Wise Solomon said in Ecclesiastes 7:14: "A person cannot discover anything about their future." So there you have it. Learning to live from day to day or maybe even hour to hour will bring less stress since it will not do us good for we cannot know what the tomorrows bring.
Any concern about tomorrow and how we can possibly change it today by worrying is futile. Every day we live brings enough challenges just for that day. The physician Luke indicated that worry or stress will not add a single hour to our life. I will add that the most likely the stresses of the day will shorten the expected length of our life.
Can anxiety be brought about by a lack of trust in God? Anxiety or worry and stress do not do well for any of us in any way. If we can remember to seek God's forgiveness even for worry, we can find the peace and comfort for our solstice.
When we have faith in God, anxiety about the details of our lives will be brought into a clearer context. When we trust God to take care of us each day of our life, we will not have the anxiety or worry. We can learn to appreciate the blessings available each day.
Being in relationship with God's is the safest place for us to be. God will do the best for us. That was proven when he sent Jesus to die so that we might have life eternal. Our hope should be in our working relationship with God. Then, we will not use our time being anxious about what tomorrow may or may not bring.
I believe change is inevitable and if we remain resilient and adaptable. We will see our acceptance as a full respected person of God. If we cannot be adaptable and bend under worry, we will most likely break. There are some changes we should resist without compromising. Our wisdom through our relationship with God can tell us when to change and when to hold our ground.
Living one day at a time will help us to be less distracted by unimportant things. We should concentrate on living fully one day at a time, because this is truly all that we have. The proper prayerful attitude for today will diminish the anxieties about tomorrow. Worry will empty our strength to complete the day and will not help solve the worries of tomorrow.
Most of our worries will turn out to be unfounded. Worry brings stress and as the doctors continue to point out, stress draws a life to an end much more quickly. We seem to be willing to pay in advance for trouble through unfounded worry.
When we can work toward that equality and the reality of acceptance as equal to all people without stressing and worrying, then our own personal relationship with God as well as with all people will be filled with peace and comfort knowing we are doing that which will bring the results so greatly needed and desired.
Defeat in our efforts for equality is not really defeats but temporary ones that teach us about ourselves. If we pick our battles being aware of the anxiety involved, we gain insight into our soul boundaries. We can without anxiety recognize and know the things that are harmful to us and learn justifiable hate without retribution.
Our spiritual opium is the solution that comes from our trusting God to be the council to establish our emotional stability and our soul boundaries providing the peace of knowing that at the end of the day, we have made all efforts for the day based on the spiritual direction from our God that lives and gives us the comfort in all efforts we make toward fairness and equality for every person.
Rev. Suzie Chamness serves as the Interim Pastor of Spirit of Life MCC in New Port Richey, Florida. Contact her by email at revsuzie-at-spiritoflifemcc.org
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