Tuesday, March 1, 2011


“Worry is assuming responsibility that isn’t yours.”
Bill Gothard

A friend of mine sent this quote to me this morning by email in response to a statement I had made to her. The statement was, "I don't worry about things that I can do nothing about."

I have tried at different times to explain to some of my friends why they should not worry and why it is so easy for me to almost, one might think, forget that I even have a problem. It's not that I forget, I've just learned that the process is one I wish to forego, eliminate from my being, and not be something that consumes minutes of my day. I do this for self-preservation. But I also do it because there is no logical point to it. I have much bigger fish to fry.

Self-preservation sounds so dramatic, doesn't it? I suppose that I have been known to be somewhat dramatic, (she says with an ironic twinkle in her eye). But self-preservation is indeed, in this situation, the awareness of what is necessary, or unnecessary, in one's life. I know quite well most of the necessary and unnecessary components of my life, but worry is one of the unnecessary items that I have been blessed enough to be able to conquer. Don't speak to me of fattening foods or sales at the boutique, but, rather, notice my victory in not wearing myself to a frazzle contemplating the unreachable.

The situation is this: I woke up for years every morning wondering "what is going to happen today?" and spending the next twelve hours waiting for a bomb to drop, not knowing how or when. I went to bed each night thankful that I had made it through one more day, not necessarily unscathed, but I made it nontheless. I lay awake at night worrying about the things that had happened, the repercussions of it all, and what will happen tomorrow? In the morning I began the process again.

The bombs dropped almost daily, and I lived through them if only to go through the worry process that I had established. My little world around me was falling to pieces, and all I could do was to watch and worry and wait for the next bomb to drop. Trying to prepare myself took concentration and constant worry. And the bomb would drop, and I was never ready, never concentrated enough, not worried enough to break the fall. Watch, worry, and wait. And where did it get me?

I found myself one day waiting again, but this time in a doctor's waiting room. This was not something that I had waited for, and I certainly was not happy about the procedures that I was about to experience. And I was to experience these procedures many times for the rest of my life. These procedures are necessary to preserve my life and make it more bearable. The reason for all of this? My doctor told me that it was the stress and worry in my life. I must learn a way to calm the stress, eliminate as much as possible, and stop worrying. Right. And I'm also going to fly to Mars tomorrow.

It took some time. My circumstances weren't changing at that point, and I couldn't see any light at the end of that tunnel, though later I would. I needed a power that I did not have humanly to carry me through the storms and over the bumpy road. But I did have an unearthly Power that I knew could help, and so I tapped into that Power and learned a process of putting away in the back of my mind all my experiences with bombs and storms. When the new ones came, I dealt with them and learned to move on without the concentrated worry and rehashing of them. I didn't walk away from them, I just didn't acknowledge that they were there. My focus was on the Power that was carrying me through. He was and is my strength. He demands my full attention, which leaves little time for worry.

Today I think about God's Word and how I must apply it to my life. I concentrate on obeying Him and living a life that makes God smile. When I allow my own demands or wishes to distract me I fail Him. But rather than worry about it, I go to Him and repent. He holds me close, forgives, and I move on, and we think no more about it. You see, He has others to care for, to worry about. I only have me, and I don't worry because He is taking care of me.

Today the bombs that fall cannot concern me beyond prayer. He has padded my world with His love. To preserve my physical body I must live in that cocoon of His love and His peace. To step out of the cocoon is a danger area that I must avoid to continue. And He has prepared it for me. And meanwhile He has other jobs to attend to.

“Worry is assuming responsibility that isn’t yours.”
Bill Gothard


  1. Could worry also be the anxiety that arises as I face the consequences of responsiblities that were indeed mine but which I have shirked?

  2. Or, rather than worry, would this be called repentance? Worry requires and ongoing process. Repentance is a "one-time" step.