Today in my Bible reading plan, I came across this scripture:
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 4:6-7
Ruby and I sat eating breakfast. As she downed her eggs drowning in hot sauce, I read the scripture to her.
“Ruby, do you worry about anything?”
I knew my happy-go-lucky girl had a problem with anxiety.
Ruby nodded quickly.
“What do you worry about?” I truly had no idea.
“I worry about my friends and family all the time,” she replied, her face solemn.
“Oh. Like…that we would get hurt or get sick or something?” I asked.
She nodded again.
“I worry that you will get sick and turn into zombies”, she said in a small voice.
I quickly reassured her that wasn’t going to happen. We don’t need to worry about those kinds of things. We might get sick. We might get hurt. But turning into the undead and feasting on the flesh of the living can get struck off the list. Whew!
Then I started to wonder if the things we spend so much time worrying about as adults aren’t just as ridiculous. If we’re relying on Christ, He will hold us up. Period. He will be with us all the time, through bankruptcy and death of loved ones and unemployment and long-term illness. Sure, we love it if we can dodge the pitfalls of this life. But sometimes we can’t. We fall right in and get impaled on the spears sticking up from the bottom. Then we pray and do our part to extricate ourselves, learning and growing in the process. Bad things will happen in this life; the rain falls on the just and the unjust. Worrying about them won’t make life better.
Meanwhile, behind me on the couch, Ruby makes goofy videos using my phone.
She intones into the camera: “And all my cousins…(she lists my brother’s kids here)…have dedicated their lives to fighting crime. Da da dadadida….” She sings the Powerpuff Girls theme. As she watches the playback, she giggles uncontrollably, lost in the moment. She completely moved on from worrying. Worrying cripples creativity. Worrying steals our joy, too. It’s just not worth it.