Rooted in Worry?

Photo by Olivia Snow on Unsplash

Me? I wondered…Really? Could I be rooted in worry? Now that might be something to worry about {wink}.

I’ve noticed we had a lot to worry about as I grew up. The recession in the 70s hit my family hard. My father was laid off in ’73. He went full-time into his side-hustle, A/C work. My mom went from ‘stay-at-home mom’ to working mother in the family business. Mom didn’t have a good childhood. Fears and worries about a ‘roof over or heads and food on the table’ plagued her for a long time.

Growing up I watched, with admiration, her struggle to make our lives as normal as possible in spite of the worries. My father worked and worked until he was a full-blown workaholic. Because of his working, I did not have a lot of time with my father. I never knew how deeply entrenched in worry he was until the last few years.

Now towards the end of his life he is miserable. He worries constantly about what he sees on TV or his life. It is hard to talk to him every day because all he has are complaints and warnings. He wants to hear what’s going on in my life. But I have learned everything I tell him he picks apart and issues dire predictions.

I come away from my conversations with him exhausted. He takes me to such a dark place filled with ‘what ifs.’ I have to catch my breath before I can continue with my day. I don’t want to be the worrier warrior anymore. I don’t want to become my father.

That is when my mom’s words return to me: Make life better for yourself and your kids than your parents did (paraphrased).  In other words, CHANGE! Make it better for the next generation.

I had to find out if I was rooted in worry. My mother is no longer a worrier. She is positive and encouraging. She gives life advice, not complaints and warnings. Can I overcome this like she did? I’m pretty sure this is where God is leading.

I looked the word “worry” in an online concordance. I got 21 hits for the word in the Bible. There were no verses for worry and root together. Whew! I also couldn’t find anything that encouraged worrying in the Bible. Fourteen of the verses specifically said, “do not worry” [NABRE]. It is not a request. It is an order. It is kind of like the Commandments, “Thou shalt not…”

My take away: We are not rooted in worry. Roots anchor us, nourish us. So just what is worry? Encarta Dictionary defines ‘worry’ as: “to feel anxious about something unpleasant that may have happened or may happen…” Encarta also had the definition: “to annoy somebody by making insistent demands or complaints” (Hoo Boy! There’s my dad).

I’m thinking worry is a sin. A sin separates us from God. A sin tears us up inside. When I worry, I feel afraid, alone and distressed. These are symptoms of sin. I’m thinking…worry is a lie. It is a lie to yourself. It is not from God. I cannot predict the future or know the outcome of someone’s actions. Do my worries come true? Sometimes, but thinking of Matthew 6:25-34, I’ll paraphrase: What good did it do me? Did it add a single moment to my life? No of course not. It probably took a few moments away.

Next question: How do I stop worrying? I’m not really sure, but here’s my strategy:

  • Pray – Turn to God for help. This week I found two prayers to stop me:
    • Jesus I trust in you. [Divine Mercy Chaplet]
    • The Prayer of Jabez for me or the person I am worrying over:

“Oh, that You would bless (me/name) indeed, and enlarge (my/their) territories, that Your hand would be with (me/them), and that You would keep (me/them) from evil, that (me/they) may not cause pain!” [Adapted from 1 Chronicles 4:10 NKJV]

  • Keep reading God’s word
  • Keep myself on task. Our goals are important. Worry distracts me from the path I am walking with the Shepherd. When I focus on today’s task I don’t have time to worry the future.

In Church today in the Priest talked about how Lent is like Jesus’ 40 days in the desert. He suggested we ask ourselves, “Where am I sinful? What do I need to work on to get sin out of my life?” I knew immediately I was on the right path. Worry is my sin. It is fear wrapped in helping myself. Worry is the lie that I can take care of myself without God. It is the lie that God will not provide for me. Eliminating worry is my next step to walking closer to God and to reaching my dreams.



One thought on “Rooted in Worry?

  1. Thanks for putting into words what it took me in my late 50s to early 60s to understand. Your words are rooted in wisdom, keep searching there are thousands of truths you have yet to discover!


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