Sunday, May 27, 2007


Mary and Joseph missed Jesus on the way home from the temple and there is probably not a parent alive who couldn’t empathize with their anxiety mixed with relief as they told twelve-year-old Jesus... Son, “Why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you.” (Luke 2:48)

What is Anxiety and Worry? Most often it’s a vague dread or fear of loosing something. Has a tight, choking collar ever caused you anguish? Or have you ever been so anxious about something that you were “all choked up”? Our words anguish, anxious and anxiety come from the Latin “angere” which means to choke.

Worry is constantly thinking about horrible possibilities. Often there is a very slim chance of any of them ever happening. In traveling all over the world I’ve spent the night in an open hut in the middle of the Amazon Jungle.

I could have thought about snakes, spiders and bugs that feed on human blood but I didn’t. I’ve learned to prepare. I bought and carried with me a U.S. Army issued Mosquito net and I had a reasonable night’s sleep. Unfortunately some of our group did worry all night long. However, nothing happened to anyone.

The fear of bugs, snakes, and spiders when you are in a heavily secure penthouse apartment on the 12th floor of a five star Hotel is irrational and dangerous anxiety. We can let our sick imagination run wild and suffer from it. Whatever we habitually think about will determine how we feel.

(Phil 4:6-7 NIV) “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. {7} And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

The Bible is filled with promises that God will take care of us. (Isa 41:10 NIV) “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

Dr. Hans Selye M.D. spent a lifetime studying stress. His book “The stress of Life” is a world famous classic.” He writes: “There is good stress and bad stress. Good stress is the concern that causes you to anticipate problems and create a solution for them”.

Bad stress is the constant agitated, unpleasant worry that causes us to go over and over the same ground until we are actually sick with the never-ending effort. We never find a solution, never resolve the problem, never can say...there...that’s fixed.

Hans Selye M.D. gives us a solution for worry and anxiety. “Nothing is accomplished by telling people not to worry. They cannot help it”. This world famous Doctor recommends something he calls “Deviation.” You could call it “diversion” or turning something aside from its course”.

A rich, stressed out executive wouldn’t think of moving his heavy furniture, yet he will go regularly for a “workout” at his expensive club. Doing something else helps relieve stress. Watch someone carrying a heavy suitcase. They keep changing it from one arm to the other. That’s deviation. A hard days work can make you sleep like a log, or keep you awake all night. Work that leads to a solution prepares you for rest and sleep.

Diversion can be almost anything that absorbs our interest and thoughts. It's well worth the effort when it stops depression, worry and constant fear and anxiety.

Pray this prayer. “Father, thank you for this day. I’ve done my best and I’m going to leave it in your hands until tomorrow. When I awake in the morning show me what to do with tomorrow”.