Robert Frost famously said, “The reason worry kills more people than work is that more people worry than work.”
So, if worrying can kill us, it will not be a waste of time to reflect on the nature of worry and decide to stop worrying before it kills us.
Worry is a waste of time. It’s like a rocking chair — it gives you something to do but gets you nowhere. Nothing is changed by worrying about it. Worrying depletes your energy because it’s hard work. It uses energy that could be spent serving others. You have just so much energy on any given day; why waste it worrying about things that may never happen?
Worrying can make you sick and ruin your health. It can make you nauseous and miserable. If worrying is of no real value, it makes no sense to worry at the expense of your health. Mahat-ma Gandhi said it best: “There is nothing that wastes the body like worry, and one who has any faith in God should be ashamed to worry about anything whatsoever.”
Worry never stops bad things from happening. If an asteroid is going to hit you, it will hit you. Worry will not change its path. And anyway, how many people do you know who have been hit by an asteroid?
Worry robs you of today’s joy while you fret about the troubles of yesterday or tomorrow. Wor-rying about what happened yesterday will not change anything. Put your mistakes and heart-aches to rest. Move on. Live in today’s sunshine not yesterday’s shadows.
Worry will not change what you said or what other people said. Criticism hurts. Treat your wounds and walk on. Stupid remarks cause lingering regret. Forgive yourself. So you screwed up yesterday. So what? Everybody screws up now and then. Why waste time bemoaning the fact that you are a human being?
Make amends with people you have hurt, if you can. If you cannot, then you tried. You have no control over what other people choose to think or do. If you give them a chance to be at peace with you, then you have done all you can.
Worry prevents living one day at a time. “One day at a time, sweet Jesus” — that song says it all. Enjoy today, every waking minute. Squeeze the joy out of every day like you were squeezing an orange. Don’t leave a drop.
Anyone recovering from alcohol or drug addiction knows that the only hope for sobriety is to stay with the program one day at a time. That formula works for all of life. It is futile to live in the past; it is impossible to live in tomorrow. All you have is today. Savor its sweetness. Yesterday is gone; tomorrow may never come. Seize the day.
Worry is a sin, so stop sinning. To worry is to refuse to have faith in God. Jesus said it plainly: “Do not worry.” He warns us not to worry about our life, clothes or food. Live to please God and trust your heavenly Father to meet your needs. He cares and knows what you need.
George Burns lived to be 100. He said, “If you ask me what is the single most important key to longevity, I would have to say it is avoiding worry, stress and tension. And if you didn’t ask me, I’d still have to say it.”