It is way too late but this has been on my mind all day and this is the first opportunity to write it down. Also, I had two large cups of coffee after the kids went to bed because that sounded good. Not so wise, but I enjoyed it thoroughly. I'll be having some more in the am.
I focus on worry quite a bit because it is a constant challenge for me. I've gotten better about handling it lately, mostly because I just don't have the time to deal with it. For me, worry is taking on problems that are not mine to take on, like a weed that creeps in my day and takes me away from the beautiful lilies and daisies and zinnias - the beautiful things that come from living in the faith that God will guide me.
A few years ago a wise woman in my church told me that she was fasting discouragement. The thought had never crossed my mind to fast an emotion! Discouragement was not the problem for me, however, it was worry. Do you know how what a relief it is when a thought of worry pops up in my mind I would just think, "I can't think about that now." and move on to something else.
I intentionally did this for a month and it changed my thinking from then on. Unfortunately, I do still worry, but it has not become the norm or accepted pattern for my thoughts.
One of my staples as far as books go is Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey. It talks about a paradigm shift. I think that this is needed at times when it comes to faith. We construct an idea of what faith should look like based on our own experiences. This is not always bad, most people have a legitimate experience that is worth analyzing. However, I think that as Christians we need to go back to what the Bible says and think beyond our experiences. This may surprisingly cause a paradigm shift to many people.
I do not need to worry, I mean, I should not worry about food or clothes. God has so much that he wants to give me at the perfect time.
I should not worry about what others think about me. I read a quote (author unknown) "What others think about you is none of your business." Hummm.
I should not worry about the end result. If I'm "called according to His purpose," It'll be good.
I should not worry about how other people's decisions will affect me. Ultimately it is God who takes care of me. I used to worry about the decisions my husband would make for me and my family. Naturally, we don't always see things the same way. I used to fight this, but when I truly submitted to him things changed drastically. My faith in him and my respect for him has grown exponentially.
One of my favorite movie quotes is from My Big Fat Greek Wedding. "The man is the head, but the woman is the neck, and she can turn the head any way she wants." It's funny, but the best way to turn the head is by keeping your mouth shut and praying. hard.
Eliminating these worries frees up so much time for positive work, relationships, and vacations. Most of my worries usually cause more problems as well, because I wasn't the one that was supposed to handle it.
So my challenge for anyone who struggles with this like I do is to fast your worries and replace them with promises from God's word, and to see what happens.