Dear friends, today, I have asked a guest contributor—who is no stranger to you—to share some thoughts with you. Thank you Nathan for this moment.


What, Me Worry?

Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…

That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?

– Matthew 6:25-27, New Living Translation

I don’t wake up early EVERY morning at 3 a.m. with something on my mind. Just sometimes, or if I’m on a roll, I can set a pretty good streak. And I don’t think that I’m alone, judging by the sleep aids on the market.

Right now feels like a lot – a book deadline looming, two weeks until I start teaching two classes of middle schoolers, and a newly-teenaged daughter. And I the wee hours of this morning, I realized that I needed to write this – so, in a strange, circular, metaphysical moment, I was worrying about writing about worrying.

Add all that to another nice moment last week, when a friend commented in passing, “…and I know it’s a sin to worry, but sometimes…”

Excellent. Add “worrying about my spiritual state” to things that I’m trying not to worry about.

Sometimes it’s just hard, this life we’ve got. Jesus was well aware of the stresses of life, urging us to “…come, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11), and reminded us that he brings peace, …my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” (John 14:27)

And yet, despite all that, we can still get chewed up by life. I’m sure that you’ve got plenty on your plate these days as well. Hopefully you’re not also up at three, also, but in case you have been, let’s reflect on the words of former Major Leaguer Mickey Rivers:

We’ll do all right if we can capitalize on our mistakes.” Whoops, wrong quote.

Rivers, as you may recall, was a centerfielder for the California Angels, New York Yankees, and Texas Rangers, and known especially for his speed and colorful quotes. In addition to the above, he also said that he was hoping in an upcoming season to “hit .300, score 100 runs, and stay injury-prone,” and said about his relationship with George Steinbrenner and Billy Martin, “Me and George and Billy are two of a kind.”

My favorite quote of his, though, makes so much sense in its simplicity.

Ain’t no sense worryin’ about the things you got control over, ’cause if you got control over ’em, ain’t no sense worryin’. And there ain’t no sense worryin’ about the things you’ve got no control over, ’cause if you’ve got no control over ’em, ain’t no sense worryin’.”

And there you go. God is with us, every step of the way. His yoke is light, He gives us rest, and the peace that He gives is different than anything offered by the world. As Rivers reminds us, there are only two options: a few things in life that we’ve got control over (we can debate how many or few those truly are some other time), and then there’s an awful lot that we don’t. In either case, who can add a single moment – or change the outcome to anything – by worrying? Exactly.

I don’t know what the future holds, but I know who holds my future.

So the next time you’re up at three, remember those promises of God and the logic of Rivers. Or, I suppose, you could email me – I might be up anyway also. After all, “we’re two of a kind.”

–Nathan Whitaker

In His Name–Scott

Copyright 2012. Scott L. Whitaker. All rights reserved.