I used to love to read Mad Magazine. Some of you are probably thinking, “That figures.” Some are saying, “I loved Mad Magazine too!” I’ll pray for you because I am concerned that your mind is similar to mine. Others are wondering, “What’s Mad Magazine?” For those that don’t know, it was a comic book filled with satire and weird offbeat humor.
The mascot of this fine publication was Alfred E. Newman. His motto was “What, me worry?” I always thought I personified this magnificent philosophy. I didn’t worry about high school, I didn’t worry about college, I didn’t worry about marriage, I didn’t worry about anything. Let’s see, how did that all work for me? I underachieved in high school, flunked out of college, nearly trashed my marriage and have a long list of good intentions that never turned into accomplishments.
The truth is that I did worry. Things worried me terribly. I worried so much that I even had physical symptoms. I had headaches, lack of sleep, stomach problems, difficulty breathing and even pain in my chest.
Once, I had to go to the hospital with symptoms of a heart attack. The doctors told me it was an anxiety attack. So being a mentally unhealthy person, combined with being a spiritually unhealthy person, I devised a method of coping with all this worry. What could go wrong with this idea, right?
I developed the ability to pretend the problem wasn’t even there. Thus, my great track record with important things in my life. When I started to worry I simply changed my reality and then I subsequently began to fail. Of course, I blamed all this failure on God. It was His fault right? NOT! It was all me taking things out of God’s hands and putting my own plan into place.
So does all this mean I should worry? No. It means I have to battle my worry not run from it. God gave me courage. I need to stand and fight.
Matthew 6:27 Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? 28 “And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, 29 yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. 30 And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith? 31 “So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ 32 These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. 33 Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. 34 “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.”
These are the words of Jesus. Our worries don’t build a single thing, they don’t contribute a single good moment to the experience of life. We are provided for and don’t even realize it. Worry does nothing but consume time, time that we can spend facing the source of our worries. So stand up to the worries of today while it is still today. Tomorrow will come soon enough.
1 Peter 5:7 Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.
Worry should be my call to action and not my command to retreat.