Altar Call – Opelika-Auburn News

Walter Albritton

December 9, 2007


Seven reasons why you need to stop worrying


     Worry can kill you. Robert Frost said, “The reason worry kills more people than work is that more people worry than work.” If Frost is right, then you need to find a way to stop worry before it kills you.  So let me share seven big reasons why you should stop worrying.  

One, worry is a waste of time. I read somewhere that worry is “like a rocking chair – it gives you something to do but it does not get you anywhere.” That is a good analogy. Nothing is ever changed because we worry about it. The time you spend worrying could be used to accomplish some things worth doing. Use the time you have in positive, creative endeavors.

Two, worry depletes your energy. Worrying is hard work. It takes energy to keep it going. Worry uses up energy that could be spent in service to others. You have just so much energy on any given day; why waste it worrying about things that may never happen? Most of the things we fret may happen never happen anyway.

Three, worry can make you sick and ruin your health. Worry can render you helpless and put you in the bed. At the very least it can make you nauseous and miserable. If worrying is of no real value, does it make sense to continue worrying at the expense of your health?

Mahatma Gandhi once said, “There is nothing that wastes the body like worry, and one who has any faith in God should be ashamed to worry about anything whatsoever.” Well said, Mahatma.

        Four, worry never stops bad things from happening. If an asteroid is going to hit you, it will hit you. Worry will not change its path. So why not enjoy what is good about your life until you get hit. Winston Churchill said the same thing with tongue in cheek: “When I look back on all these worries, I remember the story of the old man who said on his deathbed that he had had a lot of trouble in his life, most of which had never happened.”

        Five, worry robs you of today’s joy while you are fretting about the troubles of yesterday or tomorrow. Worrying about what happened yesterday will not change a thing. Put your mistakes and heartaches to rest. Move on. Live in today’s sunshine rather than yesterday’s shadows.

        Worry will not change what you said or what other people said. Criticism hurts. Tend your wounds and walk on. Stupid remarks cause lingering regret. Forgive yourself and walk away from your pity party. So you screwed up yesterday. So what? Everybody screws up now and then. Stop bemoaning the fact that you are a human being.

Make amends with people you have hurt – if you can. If you cannot, then you tried. You have no control over what other people choose to think or do. If you give them a chance to be at peace with you, then you have done all you can.

        Six, worry keeps you from living one day at a time. “One day at a time, sweet Jesus”! That song says it all. Enjoy today, every waking minute. Squeeze the joy out of every day like you were squeezing the juice of an orange. Don’t leave a drop. Get it all.

        The person recovering from alcohol or drug addiction knows that the only hope for sobriety is to stay with the program one day at a time. But that formula works for all of life. It is futile to live in the past; it is impossible to live in tomorrow. All you have is today. Live it well. Savor its sweetness. Yesterday is gone and tomorrow may never come. Seize the day you have!

        Look at life like Joanna Field did: “I used to wonder what life was for – now being alive seems sufficient reason.” Yes!

        Seven, worry is a sin so stop sinning and have faith. To worry is to refuse to have faith in God. Jesus said it plainly: “Do not worry.” He warns us not to worry about our life, our clothes, or our food. Instead, focus on living to please God and trust your heavenly Father to provide the “things” you need. He knows what you need.  He cares. You can trust him to take care of you.

        Mary Crowley explains trust about as well as it can be put: “Every evening I turn my worries over to God. He’s going to be up all night anyway.”

        Now I will ask all the experts, the philosophers, psychologists and preachers to sit down. I want the last word to come from a comedian we all loved. George Burns was funny but also wise. He said: “If you ask me what is the single most important key to longevity, I would have to say it is avoiding worry, stress and tension. And if you didn’t ask me, I’d still have to say it.”

        So stop worrying so you can enjoy life to the fullest! + + +