What Worry Does For You

Do you ever worry? Have you ever thought about what worry is? It is a thought, a negative thought, nothing more. To win over worry before leaving thinking about the troubling item, project a positive thought on the same subject.

Worry is simply pulling tomorrow’s clouds over today’s sunshine.

Change is a catalyst to worry and there is a lot of change going on. Out of the old west comes an illustration to the paralyzing influence of fear and its co-joined twin worry.

His name, “Black Bart”, struck terror in hearts. During his reign of terror which lasted from 1875 to 1883, he was credited with stealing the bags and breath from twenty-nine different stagecoach crews. He did it all without firing a shot. His weapon was his reputation. His ammunition was intimidation. A black hood hid his face. No victim ever saw him. No artist ever sketched his features. No sheriff could ever track his trail. He never fired a shot or took a hostage. He didn’t have to. His presence was enough to paralyze.

As it turned out, he wasn’t anything to be afraid of, either. When the hood came off, there was nothing to fear. When the authorities finally tracked down the thief, they didn’t find a blood thirsty bandit from Death Valley; they found a mild-mannered druggist from Decatur, Illinois. The man the papers pictured storming through mountains on horseback was, in reality, so afraid of horses he rode to and from robberies in a buggy. He was Charles E. Boles (AKA Bowles, Bolton) — the bandit who never fired a shot, because he never once loaded his gun.

If most of us would “unhood” those things causing most of the worry in our lives we would find them to be less formidable than we imagine them to be.

Worry is the only sin we brag about. “I worried so much I couldn’t sleep.” “You think that is bad. I worried so much I couldn’t eat.”

There are two things about which we should never worry.

Never worry about things you can change. If you can change them worrying about it will only delay the accomplishment and give stress.

Second, never worry about things you can’t change. Worrying about them won’t change them. If they are beyond your control worrying about them won’t change them.

There are two things about which never to worry: things you can change and things you can’t change. Eliminate those two and you will have no worries.

The expression “fear not” is found throughout the Bible. Most often the verb tense means “stop being afraid.” Like you, I face a lot of uncertainty and many perplexing challenges. I have found a formula for dealing with worry: “What time I am afraid I will trust in the Lord” (Psalm 56:3).

Thus alacrity replaces angst. The next time your counterpart to “Black Bart” shows up try it.