The Unwanted Guest

The Unwanted Guest

Life is staggering and we’re just used to it.
~ Donald Miller

For the first time in my life, I sat down with pen and paper and I wrote out six goals for the new year. Not resolutions; goals. Among them, to worry less and pray more. As long as I can remember, worry has been the unwanted house guest — the out-of-work brother-in-law who shows up at the front door with far too many suit cases for a short stay. Worry moved in without my permission and it just…stays.

I made progress on this last year. I’m finding that as my faith grows in strength, worry weakens. When I feel myself worrying about something, I remind myself I’m making God small — reducing Him from the Creator of the universe to some dude I bowled with once. If I truly believe all that I claim to believe, if I’m truly in awe of His power and promises, then what am I worried about?

I went snowmobiling with my sixteen-year-old daughter over the Christmas break. It was a breathtakingly beautiful day. A fresh coat of overnight snow covered the trails and dotted the countless evergreen trees of upper Michigan. It looked like a postcard. At first, I took it pretty slow. I had a bad feeling. My mind filled with horrible images. I pictured my daughter hitting a tree and I actually worried about how bad her injuries were going to be and how it will affect her future. I saw the emergency workers and the ambulance. I physically felt fear and anxiety through my seven layers of clothing.

What a waste of time.

Somewhere along that trail, I realized what I was doing and I stopped. Just like that. I said a ten second prayer of protection over my daughter, hit the gas, and enjoyed the rest of my day. I simply made the decision to trust.

When I returned to the house, I removed my way-cool helmet and I thought about how much life mirrors snowmobiling. Every day, we’re on this unrestrained journey. It’s calm and chaotic, tranquil, and turbulent. There are plenty of reasons to worry. Bad things can and do happen. But life is staggering. It’s not just another sunset, another birth, another snow-covered day. These are miracles. Life was amazing before amazing became an overused adjective. Worry is a thief that has stolen enough from me. I’m packing its bags and sending it away.

Jesus said it better than anyone ever has in the history of the world: “Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?”

That’ll preach.

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