You may remember that, ahem, I gave up fretting for lent.
Except that I realized that fretting is part of my worrisome DNA. I jokingly referred to this time as Fretting Awareness Month. Instead of ceasing to fret, I realized just how tangled my soul had become in the task of worry. I wish I could tell you that I’ve mastered joyful, carefree living. That when money troubles come my way, I happily give those stresses to Jesus and go on my Mary way.
I still fret.
I disobey this verse by stewing about what happened yesterday and worrying about what will/could/might happen tomorrow:
“Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes” (Matthew 6:34, MSG).
What beautiful words by Jesus, right? So simple. So easy. And yet so very difficult.
What would it look like if my (your) first reaction to something bothersome was not fear but settled faith? (Click to tweet).
How would your life be different? Think about that the next time you’re tempted to throw your hands in the air and give into fretting.
I’ll give you a wee example. Two weeks ago I bit down hard on an old maid (popcorn, not a person) and broke my tooth. For those who know me, you know this is one of my deep fears. I have nightmares of opening up my mouth and all my teeth falling out. In that moment of pain, I certainly gave into panic, and I cried. I tried not to think about the $ needed for a costly root canal and crown, but I couldn’t help it.
And when the shots were coming, and my body tensed (I don’t like nitrous), I focused on the cross pattern on the dentist’s ceiling and prayed for peace. It came.
At the second appointment when I received my crown (crown her with many crowns!), I could have given in to more panic, but I chose to calm myself and pray. And several days later, when I worried I might have an infection, I realized I could give into panic, or pray and choose not to dwell on the pain. Thankfully, the pain subsided, and I’m happily crowned.
I realized that life was just so much more tolerable and (actually) sweeter when I made a choice NOT to GIVE IN to FRETTING.
Maybe that’s what it means when we live uncaged!
So, perhaps we all need our fretting awareness months, if not to show us just how much we give in to panic.