SEIZE THE MOMENT: ANSWERS FOR OPTIMAL LIVING. This is a followup from my article “THE GUILLOTINE BLADE:…WHERE AMERICA STANDS TODAY” on the economic devastation waiting to hit the USA like Hurricane Katrina smoting New Orleans. I was aware that the impact of such a warning could do negative damage, so the purpose of this message is pull our thinking back in line with optimal spirituality & optimal living. It’s also a message on God’s view of worry.
WORRIED STUDENT. At college, there is a male student who asked some of us how he was to think at all about his studies with what is going on in the world. (He was concerned about the same kinds of things brought up in my recent article, plus more.) He asked, “Am I wrong for seeing reality?” My answer was this, “One can’t live one’s life in fear. In my generation, when I was in an advanced class (called enrichment class) for fast learners, they showed us films on how vulnerable we were to nuclear attack. They had us sincerely scared. In 15 minutes, everything could be wiped out. I finally rose above the fear, to simply live life to the fullest. It doesn’t do any good to live in fear & worry.” As the student was “stuck in stupid gear” & not listening, I quit. At West Point they tried to simulate the stress of combat by making life a sleepless nightmare. It was there that I learned to seize the moment. If I could with the best of my abilities take care of this very second, the future would take care of itself. Focus on the now. It worked. (In fact, it was the very advice that Christ taught his disciples.(A) So considering how wise he was, it is not that surprising that it works!)
ADVICE FROM A SURVIVOR OF THE WORST. In fact, a Christian sister I admire, Corrie ten Boom, who successfully went through the Nazi concentration camps said it best, “Worrying is carrying tomorrow’s load with today’s strength- carrying two days at once. It is moving into tomorrow ahead of time. Worrying doesn’t empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength.” Tell it sister! It is like spinning your tires in mud, & at a certain pt. the tires overheat, and your gas tank runs dry.
WORRY, A NATIONAL PROBLEM. Not only is worry filling our hospital beds, it is filling our cemeteries with suicides, keeping people awake at nights, ruining our immune systems, giving us hypertension & mental illnesses. But worse than that, it is a major national sin separating us from God’s Holy Spirit. God’s Word says, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to his purpose.”(B) “…God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”(C) When we worry, we self-centeredly distrust God & call Him a liar. It is the opposite of faith, prayer, and worship. Nothing brings on depression quicker than self-pity. (Although depressed people often are sure it is far more complex than self-pity & sin.)
Why did Christ never get depressed? He faced some daunting challenges. He taught his disciples, “Therefore do not worry & be anxious, saying, “What are we going to have to eat? Or What are we going to have to drink? Or, What are we going to have to wear?”’’(D) It is godly to think ahead, plan ahead, and change our circumstances for the better…worry is different than concern, and we need to know the difference. Self-pity is the opposite attitude than the joy of the Lord. “Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.”(PHIL 4:4) Happiness comes from inside…you don’t buy happiness…you assume happiness & joy. Yes, stuff happens. We have bad days. King David had his share, yet sang, “I will bless the Lord at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth.” (E) Draw close to God, and He will draw close to you.
CASE HISTORY. An example from history will make my pt. that worry does not solve problems—it creates them. During the Great Depression, there was a man with a successful business. But he threw away his success & scuttled his business, because his son came home all alarmed about the Great Depression. “Dad, we need to cut inventory, lay off our help, and take austerity measures.” So the father & son scuttled their successful business, before hard times had touched it, all on the basis of worry.
SCRIPTURE WORTH MEMORIZING. Along these lines, a scripture that would be worthwhile to memorize and have tucked into your heart is: “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue & if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.” PHIL 4:8. May the peace of God rule in your hearts my friends.
(A) MT 6:25-34 (B) ROM 8:28 (C) PHIL 4:19 (D) MT 6: 31 (E) PS 34:1