Worrier? Not so much…but

Matthew 6:34 ¶ “So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today’s trouble is enough for today.

A worrier I am not and never have been. And because I don’t tend toward worry or anxiety it perplexed me how people of faith – many people – could get so mired in anxiety over things like provision, security, parenting, careers, degrees, and relationships. And, honestly, even more than perplexed, I was pretty judgmental and saw such worry and anxiety as a character flaw and a weakness. In fact, if I was on the other end of a relationship – whether fellow worshiper, family member, business associate, friend, or partner – with a worrier, resentment and judgment reared its ugly head, leaving little room for empathy. The worrier’s tendency towards ‘no’, anxiety over change, burden to perform would butt up right against what they wrongly perceived as my Pollyanna, pipe dream, naive, glass half full, trust in the Spirit, God’s grace-ful intention, worry-free lens and walls erected; barriers to entry to the other mounted. And then, years ago, I heard in a sermon one line that summed up what Jesus was teaching to the the faithful in today’s Gospel story (Mt 6:25-34):

WORRY IS LIKE A MILD FORM OF ATHEISM.

Read that again.

WORRY IS LIKE A MILD FORM OF ATHEISM.

Hearing this forever altered my understanding of worriers and graced me with an empathy towards them that I needed way more than the worriers I knew, needed. It softened my hardened heart. I was able to “feel” for the other in a way I hadn’t before.

I think the Spirit intended for me to be in church that day lo so many years ago in order to begin a process of opening doors in my heart for those inclined towards worry, those ‘with a mild form of atheism.’ How heavy a burden to go through life thinking it was all up to you – that all your success and failure was a reflection of your worthiness, your value, your esteem.

I am a better friend, fellow worshiper, business associate, parent, family member and partner when my heart is open and can feel the burden of the worrier.

Onward in faith and in Him.

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