Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Death to Worry

We are currently doing a series in church called "Death to Worry". I think this series is so applicable in my own life since I am historically a huge worrier. I get anxious over the small things and play out every possible scenario in my mind until I make sense of all the puzzle pieces. Except, no matter how long I spend mentally working things out and no matter how hard I look, I can never seem to find that last piece. That piece that declares a clean and completed work. This frustrates me and oftentimes keeps me up at night. I think I do a really good job of answering the why not questions, playing into my own fears of not being good enough or experienced enough and constantly comparing myself to my peers. I feel like I should be thinking that the older I get and the more experienced I become, the more confident I should be. In my mind, however, the older I get, the more I realize I do not have a clue what is going on. In reality, neither of these are mutually exclusive and both certainly can be true to an extent.

A lot of this stems from discussions I've had recently with friends about their spiritual gifts and my realization that I'm not sure what mine are. I think discernment may be one of them, but how am I supposed to use that gift? I'd ideally love to write a book someday. I hope that doesn't sound too far-fetched. Writing has always been a passion of mine and I've had a certain degree of positive feedback in that area that leads me to believe I have some amount of innate talent. Discipline, on the other hand, is something that I lack. I'm so good at following the rules and getting things done, but the truth is I work best under fire and don't have the best work ethic when there is no pressure (or when I'm not interested in the task at hand).

Anyway (see what I mean!), last night at church John discussed the necessity of trusting in God's sovereignty and submitting to His will. He painted the picture of how so many of us "follow God"; we demand to see the complete road map ahead of time and compare it to our own route and the routes of our peers and mentors, and then after careful analysis we then choose which route best suites our needs. How futile. He promises to take care of us and bless us with the simple request that we walk by His side by faith. Where is the faith in that comparative analysis? I struggle with this one daily. I know on a logical level that God loves and protects me, but somehow I doubt his ability to orchestrate where I'll be working in a few months? He's strong enough to handle everything else, but not this one thing. This one thing is what I'll need to handle on my own. It's laughable writing it down, but it's really trying in the midst of struggling to relinquish control. Specifically, I have a difficult time with drawing the line between planning and worrying. Planning is responsible, worrying is futile. "Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?" Matthew 6:27 (NIV)

I think entering into this holiday season, this particular message is an important one for me to keep in mind. Seasons are changing, family is moving, occupational concerns are preoccupying, and when daylight is on the decline, I just generally tend to question my life's decisions as a whole and whether or not I'm the person I'm supposed to be. The thing is, though, I don't define my life in the same terms I used to. I'm not the same individual I used to be and I don't derive my sense of worth from my external circumstances. I only want to find my identity in Christ and currently the only stumbling block to doing so is me. So, I will kindly step out of the way now and let Christ take over. After all, He does have quite the proven track record :)

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