The designated worrier

By Donald Brazile

She cooks, she cleans, she comforts, she corrects, she has six pairs of hands, and eyes in the back of her head — and she worries. Who is she? You guessed it —  Mother.

Worry seems to be one of those regular household chores that have to be done by somebody, and that somebody is usually Mom, who voluntarily becomes the Worrier in Residence.

Worry is a normal, universal human response to life. We are creatures who know of cause and effect. We can anticipate disaster in the future, and that’s what worry is really all about, isn’t it the future things that have yet to happen.

Here’s a little acronym to remember next time you begin to get anxious about something or someone. Write on a piece of paper the letters W.T.W. This stands for Wait To Worry.

As you know, many of the troubles that paralyze us are the ones that never happen. Worry has mostly to do with what-ifs, not-yets, and maybes, of which we have no control. Yet Jesus lived and taught that the only day worth living is the one you’re in. Remember what he taught in Matthew 6:34, “Today’s trouble is enough for today.” He’s trying to point out the obvious if you want to make tomorrow worse than it’s already going to be, then just add the dimension of worry to it today. You’ll be miserable today, as well as tomorrow, only making matters worse.

There’s an old saying that goes something like this:

Worry never climbed a hill,  Worry never paid a bill,

Worry never dried a tear,   Worry never calmed a fear,

Worry never fixed a heel,   Worry never cooked a meal,

Worry never composed a song to sing,

Actually, worry never did a worthwhile thing.

Daily we are crucified between two thieves: regrets of yesterday and worries about tomorrow. We have no business galloping off into tomorrow or wallowing around in yesterday. Anxiety keeps us from living fully in “this” moment. Sometimes it keeps us from appreciating the beauty of the hour, and quite often, it keeps us from doing the things that are ours to do in the present. We cannot carry two days at once, much less three (yesterday, today and tomorrow). Imagining what tomorrow may bring can so drain us that we miss the moment at hand. God isn’t present in the past or future. The great I Am is in the present moment. “This is the DAY the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it” (Psalm 118:24).

Take a moment this Mother’s Day to reread Matthew 6:34. Then make a list of all your worries. Which ones are worries “for today?” Which ones can you put off until tomorrow or for a while? Which are worries over which you have some control, and which are out of your control? Focus on one particular worry today. How are you handling it? Is there anything practical you would like to do differently after reading Matthew 6:34? This verse, though simple, gives us something to counter anxiety, thereby, making life more manageable, Mother’s Day more enjoyable, and 501-Der Mothers more wonderful.

W.T.W. (Wait To Worry)!