The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Enid Features

June 24, 2014

What do you worry about?

ENID, Okla. — What do you worry about? Think about it.

I said, “think,” not “worry” about it. There is a vast difference.

I had an aunt that was a worrier. She worried about everything. If all was going well, then she worried that something might happen. I can still see her sitting on the porch with a handkerchief in her hands wringing it and wringing it in worry. If we went out to play in the sand, she worried that we would get sand in our eyes. If we played in the playhouse, she worried because we were out of sight. No matter what we did, we lived in fear because Auntie was worrying so much that we began to believe that maybe something bad would happen. It never did. Her worry did nothing.

What are you worrying about? Some people spend their lives worrying about their health. They have bad health because they are constantly worrying. They look for something to happen and it usually does. If they spent as much time taking better care of themselves as they do worrying, they would probably have better health. At least they would enjoy life more along the way.

I used to be consumed with fear. I was afraid Jim would get sick, die and leave me all alone in the world. I was afraid we would run out of money if we were forced to enter a nursing home. I was afraid to stand in front of a group and give any kind of speech. I could not think on my feet. When I was in school, I was afraid I would not make straight A’s. I worried about being on the highway. I worried about staying home because someone might break in. The list went on and on. I was becoming my auntie.

Then I sat myself down and thought about it and decided worrying was an insult to God.

How could I believe in a God that cared even for little sparrows and not believe He would care for all my needs. He will take care of everything, so why worry.  It’s called faith and trust. I no longer lie awake at night wondering and worrying. Everything will all be taken care of in its own time.

I have always felt that work cures a lot of worries. I am sure when my ancestors came to Indian Territory and worked so hard to eke out a living that they had many, many legitimate worries to just exist and be safe from harm. But they worked hard every day and didn’t have time to worry and stew and fret. At bedtime, they were too tired from all that work to lie awake and worry about crop failure or finances. They took one day at a time and left the rest to their maker.

There is a difference between worry and concern. We do need to plan and think ahead, but worrying becomes a habit. We worry about the what-ifs and then think in the negative. Instead we should leave what is “around the corner” to God and be prepared for what comes our way. I am always concerned about Jim’s health, but he takes good care of himself, is a positive person, and we have caring physicians who are always available. I cannot control how long he lives in this world, but I can tell you that every day counts at our house. We try to live so that when one of us is left alone, we will have no regrets of what we did or what we didn’t do. All we have is today. We make the best of it. Life is too short to shorten it even  more by worrying.

I am constantly amazed at the people who go to Jim’s cardio/COPD rehab who have every reason to worry. Many of them are in terrible health, some waiting for lung transplants. Yet those people are so positive and upbeat and work so hard to improve their health. They are an inspiration to me and other. If they worry, it does not show. It is more concern and determination!

We cannot control emergencies. Things happen. We keep enough food on hand to be confined for a week or so. Maybe things wouldn’t go together well, such as potatoes and spaghetti, but we would survive and make the most of it. We wouldn’t starve. And we keep enough blankets on hand to stay warm and exist. Maybe we wouldn’t be cozy, but neither were our ancestors in those dug-outs and houses with no insulation. Something we do that makes sense to me is keep our gas tank filled at all times. We believe it doesn’t cost any more for two half tanks of gas than it does for one full tank. We stay prepared and ready for any emergency. And we always have a cellphone with us.

Having 911 to call in an emergency certainly takes the worry out of crisis situations. What did we do without those caring people to help us in a time of need? People used to manage, but I would hate to try to do without them now. People used to die just getting to the hospital or doctor’s office. They were hardy people and knew what to do in emergencies, even gunshot wounds and serious diseases. Being prepared saved them a lot of worry and anxiety.  

It is documented in the Bible that we cannot add one hour to our day by worrying. We do need to be concerned and caring, but worry for the sake of worrying is a waste of time.      

 I once worried about what to cook for drop-in company. I mulled it over and over in my mind. Now, I can whip up “a mess of something”in just a jiffy. I always keep a few staples on hand for us or company that can be put together in no time. Everyone seems to enjoy a simple tuna or chicken salad sandwich with a dill pickle and a few chips and lemonade, then serve this dessert that cooks while we eat and visit. Like this:

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