"Worry is imagination misplaced." - unknown
As a child I was always worrying that my body would fail me and I would end up in the ER. I had a vivid story in my head that if, for some reason, my medication was no longer available, and I was homeless, and the only place to lay my head was on a hay bale in a barn...that would be the end of Sarah Jo Glewwe. I had experienced enough of that kind of fear to inform that imaginative story, but imagination is almost always worse than actuality. I'm still here.
As a teen I worried about how I was being perceived - Clear face? Cool clothes? Smart? Talented? Friends? Boys? My dad would tell me not to worry, because..."Most people are too busy thinking about themselves to be thinking much about you." Mostly true, but my imagination put thoughts into other's minds and creative scenarios played in my self-centered mind-cinema. Of course, there WERE times when people thought about me, sometimes poorly, but my imagination told me their thoughts had something to do with who I am. Misplaced imagination, this.
As a young adult I worried that I would be left behind in the experience-the-world, fall-in-love, have-babies kind of way. I thought about the many pieces that needed to fall into place, just so, in order for my life to START, no less flourish. I wasn't the sort who had her wedding planned and her kids named from the age of 12, but I did want to live fully. The path was so wide-open. The pages of the book were so, so blank. Along with my enthusiastic dreams and expansive aspirations, my imagination also was full of messy, scary "what-ifs"...and, guess what? I did make some messes, and I made a few missteps. My path was only illuminated as I took each step. I was guided and carried the whole time....even, especially, through the missteps.
Worry tempts me every day.
Now, as a 46-year-old woman
with 3 teenaged boys and an entrepreneurial-leaning husband, my personal future is full of unknowns.
Oh so unpredictable.Worry almost always seems the right response. It masquerades as wisdom.
On a world-wide scale things are chaotic and unknown, too, with political unrest, threatening rulers, separation and division, and dug-in binary arguments about what facts are even true.
Oh so unpredictable.
Worry almost always seems the right response. It masquerades as wisdom.
BUT...Worry is our imagination at work creating a false future - a future that isn't REAL - yet. Worry is rehearsing the lie that our future is going to be struggle, defeat, and loneliness...without the God of the universe with us, without hope in ever-present divine goodness toward us, and without the creative juices that will only show up as we walk our paths and as challenges present themselves. Worry is imagining a future without God.
2000 years ago Jesus talked about worry. He said, "...Do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow? They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you - you of little faith?" Matt 6:25-30