My mom’s favorite hymn is His Eye Is on the Sparrow. The song is a reference to Yeshua’s (Jesus) teaching in Luke 12:25 about worrying. Luke 12;25 says, “Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life?” (New International Version) Yeshua teaches that God’s creation does not worry about food, shelter, or clothing, so why should humankind? Worry truly is a waste of time and energy. I find it interesting that my mom loves this song so much as she is a world-class worrier. She files worry under the category of caring about others.
Yeshua posed a valid question. Does worry add anything to our lives? The answer is, it does not. Worry robs us of valuable time and energy and accomplishes nothing. Worry is centered on the past and future, not the present. We don’t live in the past or the future, only the present. Simple enough concept, wouldn’t you say? Why, then, do we worry?
Some think, and my mom is one of them, that worry and concern are the same, but they are not. Concern motivates us to do something to change a situation, to offer help or words of encouragement. Worry, on the other hand, is fear-based, setting up a vicious cycle of fear and anxiety. When we worry, we are focusing our energy on the problem, whereas concern focuses our energy on solutions. It’s kind of like deciding whether a glass is half-full or half-empty. Worry about a half-empty glass does not fill the glass. If we are concerned that the glass is half-empty or half-full and we want a full glass, our concern will motivate us to fill the glass. A subtle but real difference.
There is enough anxiety in the world today. We don’t need to compound our anxiety by worrying about situations we cannot change. Peace does exist in a world of anxiety when we decide to stop worrying and live in the moment. This moment is all we have, it is all we are guaranteed. If in this moment, I can change something that I am concerned about, I have accomplished something that benefits another.
Do you worry, or are you concerned about others and situations in your life? Worry is not the same as being concerned. Worry does not change situations in our lives. Worry wears us down. Worry affects our physical and mental health and sense of well-being. Eckert Tolle said it this way, “Worry pretends to be necessary but serves no useful purpose” Worry does not add a single hour to our lives…..