There’s quite a bit in the Bible about anxiety. “Don’t be anxious for anything,” is the basic message. Most of the time I act as if those words don’t apply to me. I have plenty to be anxious about. Or so I think. There are tons of things that seem to demand that I worry about them. Deadlines, conflicts, decisions to be made, decisions other people are making, policies that are harmful, policies that should be adopted, political struggles, anxiety about family matters, and on and on. They all seem like legitimate worries; especially at 3:00 AM.
One thing I’ve been learning is that I can discipline my mind to tune out these worries. I’m not saying I’m very skilled at tuning them out; I’m saying that it is possible to do so. In other words, like so many other things in life, it is a discipline that I can practice. If I choose to. And, when I choose to practice (exercise) this discipline, I can, to some extent, quiet my over-anxious mind. The best part is that, like any other discipline, it gets easier to do successfully the more I practice it.
Sometimes I think that if I could just get a different job or retire or something, I could stop being anxious. But today I realized that as I go on into old age there will always be the potential for anxiety about shortage of money or deteriorating health or some other unforeseen things. The skill I’m developing now to quiet my mind will be an asset that I will always be glad to have.
So I’ve decided that I’m grateful for the things that make me anxious.