Monday, June 9, 2014

Dale Jr., Worry, And The Rest Of Us

The February 18, 2014 edition of USA Today featured a neat interview where Jeff Gluck asked NASCAR star Dale Earnhardt Jr. twelve good questions.  It was an insightful discussion.  This was my favorite part:

" Q:  If you could give the younger version of yourself one piece of advice, what would it be?
A:  I'd probably tell myself not to worry so much and to enjoy each little chapter of life."

That quote has me thinking...

Not only is Dale an amazing driver.  He's also a smart guy.  This interview proves it.

He has learned not to worry so much.  And if I were a betting man, I'd bet you it has made a positive difference in his life.  What a great lesson he has learned!

Jesus dished out the wisest words ever on worry in Matthew 6:25-27.  Specifically, He made three awesome points in three quick verses that we all need to keep in mind.  These points will help reduce our anxiety and increase our peace.

(1).  We have the option to live without worry.  He said "Do not worry" in verse 25.  We have a choice on whether we worry or not.  We do have a say in the matter!  Jesus calls us to say "No" to worry, and the last time I checked, Jesus enables us to do what He calls us to do.  So here's the good news:  We do not have to live like worry warts.  We are free to choose another way of life.

(2).  We have a God who cares deeply about us.  He said the following in verse 26:  "Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns; and yet your Heavenly Father feeds them.  Are you not much more valuable than they?"  Since God looks after little birds and takes good care of them, we can easily conclude that He will look after us and take good care of us on a grander scale.  God has proven more than once He loves us.  We (and our needs) do indeed matter to Him.  So we can focus on trusting Him rather than worrying.

(3).  We must remember worry accomplishes nothing.  That's right.  Nothing.  "Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?" is what Jesus asked rhetorically in verse 27.  The obvious answer is "No, worrying will not do a single, solitary productive thing in anyone's life."  In the history of mankind, worry has never once come even remotely close to fixing problems or curing ills.  So there's no point in us wasting time worrying because it will in no way resolve any of our dilemmas.

Dale Jr. learned a valuable lesson that Jesus taught centuries ago, and here it is:  Choose to trust in the caring God who meets needs rather than engage in crippling worry which accomplishes nothing.

May God help us all worry less and trust Him more.  When we do this, our peace and joy increase, we enjoy the stages of life more, and we are free to fulfill our purpose on this Earth.  Sounds like a pretty good deal to me!

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