Hallowe’en — I should have a thought or two about that really, but it just doesn’t register much in my thought processes.
I maybe should worry about that but I won’t this year. I am really more worried about being worried really.
Anxiety seems to be one of those things on the minds of way too many folk some days, even me.
But too often I find the things I worry about are mostly things I can’t really control anyway, or they seem to work out in the end despite my best worrying.
I suspect, as I often do, that I’m not alone in wasting good worrying for nothing.
The sadly true but humorous look at worry goes something like: ‘The reason worry kills more people than work is that more people worry than work’.
But really worry is a word derived from an old word that means strangle or choke.
It is related to anxiety, a state of mind where one is concerned about something or someone.
And concern is a good thing, but worry takes it too far and suddenly we find ourselves choking on the concern and ending up getting strangled by it.
Whilst I’m not going to fuss with Hallowe’en and it is still before American Thanksgiving, and so for me, Christmas is a long way off.
I am reminded anyway that Jesus was born into the world to be the Prince of Peace and for me one of the opposites of worry or excess anxiety is peacefulness and contentment, so I will bring in a wee bit of the Advent theme early.
The Puritan Thomas Watson put it this way: “God the Son is called the Prince of Peace. He came into the world with a song of peace: ‘On earth peace.…’ He went out of the world with a legacy of peace, ‘Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you.’
“Christ’s earnest prayer was for peace; He prayed that His people might be one. Christ not only prayed for peace, but bled for peace: ‘Having made peace through the blood of His cross.’”
I know even in my safe secure wee world there are things that flare up and get to me.
I had someone jump over our garden wall the other night and vandalise a few things. Not a pleasant place to be.
Items that we value were damaged, and our space felt violated.
First reaction is to think what could have been… Who was it…? How dare they…?
One’s mind then goes dashing off on all kinds of paths that lead to nowhere.
Yet it ended as I reminded myself that there was nothing that could be done at that point apart from letting the God of peace calm me and the rest of the family over something very small in the scheme of the world we live in.
So in this our chaotic world that could well cause us a lot of worry about so many things, finances, health, relationships, our stuff, and you can fill in your own blank here.
We need to keep in mind that a bit of concern is not a problem but worry can be.
We can either seek peace or strangle on worry. I think I’ll just worry about finding peace in the right places.
Trying not to let worry but rather let God.
Rev. Jon Bergen
Brechin Baptist Fellowship