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  • Writer's pictureGreg Dover

Curations: I Worried

I know I come across as cool, calm, collected, and got-it-all-under-control...

(Stop laughing.)

Even if I do come across this way at first or on the surface, I have always struggled with anxiety. And while I regularly see a mental health counselor to keep that anxiety from spiraling out of control, I still worry.

I worry about things I can't control - like the growth of plants, or a river's flow - and I worry about how I might try to control that which I know I can't (like below: "will the earth turn / as it was taught, and if not how shall / I correct it?").

I worry about the future - my health, or "will I ever be able to...?" And I worry about the past - "Was I right, was I wrong, will I be forgiven...?"

There is plenty to worry about. And to some extent, worry is natural. In small doses, it helps us prepare for the future and regulate ourselves. But when it gets out of control (and controls us), we have to find ways to release it, and hopefully trust in ourselves, others, and - ultimately - in God.

Jesus said,

Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today’s trouble is enough for today. (Matthew 6:34)

All of which is preceded by and couched in God's goodness and care for us, even despite and in the midst of our anxieties.

So perhaps we can find ways to admit and acknowledge the worries and anxiety we experience, but - knowing they ultimately are empty and come to nothing - can accept them and still find ways for our lives to sing of God's goodness.


"I Worried" by Mary Oliver

I worried a lot. Will the garden grow, will the rivers flow in the right direction, will the earth turn as it was taught, and if not how shall I correct it?

Was I right, was I wrong, will I be forgiven, can I do better?

Will I ever be able to sing, even the sparrows can do it and I am, well, hopeless.

Is my eyesight fading or am I just imagining it, am I going to get rheumatism, lockjaw, dementia?

Finally I saw that worrying had come to nothing. And gave it up. And took my old body and went out into the morning, and sang.

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