To worry or not to worry!

From the Rector’s Desk.

I thought that you might appreciate some solid down to earth advice on the huge topic around ‘Worrying’!

Let me first tell what prompted my concern about worry. I woke up this morning and decided to bypass News24 and Dad’s Jokes on Facebook and go straight to the Worldometer website and there it was as of 07h30 this morning. Coronavirus cases worldwide 246,322,895!! That is really of great concern! When it comes to total deaths, South Africa stands at 90,000 and counting. That is worrying! So I closed that website!

Do you know what is equally worrying – load shedding is getting back into full swing? It is so bad that they switched off our area last night at 8.00 pm when we were not on their roster, and it didn’t even bother me a bit – I am so used to the disruptions. That is worrying! (The lights came on shortly after, though.)
And I haven’t even started on corruption, GBV, the now our elections. ‘How do we get through all of this?’ I muttered to Gay. Her response was that I need to stop worrying because worrying makes me grumpy. Well, that didn’t help! After all, she also says that I am a grey-haired old man! The only part she gets right in that evaluation is that I am male! So, her credibility is rather low!
While I was still mulling over these thoughts, this quote landed up in my in-tray and it was just what I needed to hear:-

Worry is a bully. It takes everything out of you and gives you nothing in return.

“According to the Bible, there is nothing wrong with realistically acknowledging and trying to deal with the identifiable problems of life. To ignore danger is foolish and wrong. But it is also wrong, as well as unhealthy, to be immobilized by excessive worry. Such worry must be committed to prayer to God, who can release us from paralyzing fear or anxiety, and free us to deal realistically with the needs and welfare both of others and of ourselves.” (Dr. Gary R. Collins, Christian Counselling, p. 66.)

There are so many Scriptures that encourage us to cast off the burden of worry and anxiety. Let me share some of them with you briefly: –
In Matthew 11:18 Jesus says ‘Come to me and I will give you rest. Lay your burdens before me.’ He had earlier said, ‘Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.’ (Matthew 6:34). In the Old Testament, the Psalmist acknowledges that turning to God helped him with all his fears, ‘I sought the LORD, and he heard me and delivered me from all my fears’ (Psalm 34:4). It was Paul who gave us these helpful words, ‘Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus’ (Philippians 4:6-7).

Dr Gary Collins also gives us a list of things that one should draw into your life which will take nothing from you (in the way worry does) but, these activities will give much refreshment and peace back into your life. Sleep, being more realistic, listening to relaxing music, talking to friends who build you up and do not tear you down, exercise, and then if necessary, seek spiritual counselling and professional assistance in dealing with the debilitating stress and anxiety that results from Worry!

Worry is a bully. It takes everything out of you and gives you nothing in return. Deal with it now!!
The other tool Dr. Collins suggested to take your mind off worry is to listen to quiet soothing music. Here is a piece that I have on my most relaxing classical music bookmark in Google:- It is Faure’s Cantique de Jean Racine Opus 11 from the Album “Classical Music everyone should know” It was first performed in August 1866 (I think you need earphones to appreciate this piece fully)

“Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself,
and our God and Father,
who has loved us and given us everlasting consolation and good hope by grace,
comfort your hearts and establish you in every good word and work”
(2 Thessalonians 2:16-17).


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