A few nights ago I woke up from a strange sound hitting my bedroom window. As I arose from my bed with my phone flashlight displaying on one hand and my other hand in karate chopped position, I realized sometime along the night it had begun to rain and debris was smashing against my front porch. It was 3:45 in the morning and my brain had already tricked myself into thinking it was already time to start the day. The only other time I can remember waking up this suddenly from a delicate sleep was when I had a dream about Taco Bell’s Baja Blast (I was severely disappointed opening my fridge that night only to find expired milk). Laying on my bed I found my thinking spot, the tiny gaping hole on my ceiling that seems to expand every year hypnotizing me to be in a state of mind where all I seem to do is think about my future and the rest of my life.
“Oh hey Chris Todd, guess what time it is?”-Brain
“Please for the love of pete..”-Me
“That’s right you thought it, it’s time for you to recollect every worry you’ve ever had from your childhood good looking self up to now and worry about everything all at once!”- Brain
“I literally haven’t thought about any of this all day!”-Me
“Actually you haven’t thought about your future in 34 days because you’ve been busy and content but good news is that you can think about them all now! Also remember that 2002 Avril Lavigne classic song “Complicated” that you’ve listened to maybe 4 times? It’s now the moment to have you singing that song for 5 more hours until you figure out what all the lyrics are right now!”-Brain
“Face palm”-Me (A lot of times I say this but then I also do it for emphasis)
Brain walks away dropping the mic.
That was pretty much how the night went, not only was I not going to be able to sleep but I was going to have 900,000 worries flood my thoughts fixing my heart towards an unhealthy state where I demanded to know the answers to my agonizing concerns right away. “God what if I’m not meant to be here? God what if I’m going to be alone for the rest of my life? God what if people are done with my humor and I never get to make people laugh? God tomorrow I’m taking one of my Young Adults to lunch, what if I forget my credit card and I end up making them pay for Chipotle? Wait where is my credit card? Where’s my wallet? Wait where’s my life?” And the escalation continues. I go from Curious George to Dwayne Johnson’s Rampage that fast when it comes to anxiety and worry!
Paul wrote it right when he said in Philippians 4:6 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” In this verse, we learn that we should bring all of our needs and concerns to God in prayer rather than worry about them. Do you know how much of a prayer warrior I would be if I listened to Paul’s advice? We tend to worry about all kinds of things, most of which will never occur anyway. Whether it’s worrying about our past, worrying about our future, worrying about our health or even money, the Bible points out that worrying for Christians is nothing but a horrible habit. Paul presents this idea using the word “anxious” which in its root form (merimnáō) means "tying yourself up in knots". He uses this word picture symbolizing that every time we worry we continue to trap ourselves becoming immobile. We have the opportunity to untie ourselves from the worries that paralyze us by approaching a Father who is listening and concerned about every minuscule detail of our lives.
What would it look like for me to write down every single worry I have and slowly cross them off as I prayed away my anxiety? How much of my life is paralyzed by the worries of all the “what if” scenarios I have going on in my head? What does it look like for me to be done being tied up in knots and stuck in my life? My prayer for you and me is to give up a feeling we were never designed to have and follow a God we were always meant to pursue. I am so ready to rest, how about you?
“Casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you”- 1 Peter 5:7