Keeping worry under control is a full time job. I have discovered that it’s the most important job I have since, everything else hangs on how well I control it. My friend, life’s a story, stayed tuned for more on This Passing Day.
Years ago I worked for a farmer who depended a lot on the weather as most farmers do for failure or success. His margins weren’t the greatest. He eked out a living raising herefords and doing handiwork around the area. If there was rain and the pastures were lush, he bought less feed for the cattle; if it didn’t, the margins from beef sales seem to barely cover his expenses. One night as I was busy pouring feed into a manger I asked him how he was doing. “You worried about the weather? It’s been real dry?” He pointed at an old rocking chair on the porch of his old farmhouse and, while hoisting a bag with me into the manger he mumbled out something to the effect, “Why worry when you can trust. It is like that rocking chair over there, it give you something to do but it sure doesn’t get you anywhere.” I got it. Worry occupies, but it doesn’t make things happen.
Worry is one of, if not the biggest, occupiers of most people’s time. I know as I have suffered from its negative effects for years. Keeping it under control really is a full time job. One thing I have discovered is that it’s the most important job I have in this life since everything else hangs on how well I am able to control it.
Here’s a story. Connie Mack was one of the greatest managers in the history of baseball. Once, when his team had clinched the pennant well before the season ended, he gave his two best pitchers the last ten days off so that they could rest up for the World Series. One pitcher spent his ten days off at the ball park; the other went fishing. Both performed brilliantly in the World Series. Mack never criticized a player in front of anyone else. He learned to wait 24 hours before discussing mistakes with players. Otherwise, he said, he dealt with the goofs too emotionally. In the first three years as a major league baseball manager, Connie Mack’s teams finished sixth, seventh, and eighth. He took the blame and demoted himself to the minor leagues to give himself time to learn how to handle men. When he came back to the major leagues again, he handled his players so successfully that he developed the best teams the world had ever known up to that time. Mack had another secret of good management: he didn’t worry. “‘I discovered,”‘ he explained, “‘that worry was threatening to wreck my career as a baseball manager. I saw how foolish it was and I forced myself to get so busy preparing to win games that I had no time left to worry over the ones that were already lost. You can’t grind grain with water that has already gone down the creek.”‘ (Bits and Pieces, December 13, 1990.)
Connie Mack nailed it. Every moment in life is special and all worry does is consume the moment, sending it downstream where it’s no longer useful to grinding away at the challenges of the day. Jesus taught his disciples to “give no thought” to those things we so often fret about. What shall we eat? Where shall we rest? How shall we cope? Jesus commanded his disciples to put these things aside as matters entrusted to the Father in faith. When we worry about things that God has already promised he will handle on his own, we are, in fact, implying that God can’t handle it, but we might be able to. Jesus was concerned that his disciples would allow the cares of the world to choke out their faith. He even put this above the ability of the devil to do this. Be faithful to God, 100%. Put worry behind you. Rocking chairs move but they don’t go anywhere. There’s life to live today; grind away at your tasks and let God be concerned for everything else. Be faithful!
We pray. Thank you Lord for taking care of our lives so faithfully and in such detail. You take care of even the smallest things while doing the big things. Forgive us Father when we fret over things we can’t control and you have promised to be take care of. Help us to put worry where it belongs, in a rocking chair we aren’t sitting in. Life is too short and you have given us so many things to do. In Jesus name we pray. Amen!
Therefore my friend, Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry for itself; each day has enough trouble of its own. This Passing Day. (Matt 6:34)
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