Soul Matters – Have A Little Faith
“Never let your head hang down. Never give up and sit down and grieve. Find another way. And don’t pray if it rains if you don’t pray when the sun shines.” (Sachel Paige)
Living with anxiety is a horrible experience. But as human beings it is almost impossible to escape. It is a fact of life that a human being is the only one of God’s creatures who worries. Trees and animals don’t have that problem!
These past few months, there has been so much amiss in our lives with the bush fires, floods, and now, the terrible coronavirus pandemic. Yet pain and suffering are an integral part of the cycle of growth and learning. Growing up, how many times did we have to skin our knees in order to ride a bicycle?
We all know when children are tired, grizzly or unhappy how they can make their feelings felt very strongly. They just sit down and give-up or throw tantrums.
However, we are not tired little kids. We are adults dealing with responsibilities and commitments. So instead of giving up, we need to find ways to cope with our problems.
Some people struggle to be happy because they are born worriers, or because they get easily discouraged, or lonely or simply because they are too afraid to allow God into their lives. No wonder people ask that eternal, enigmatic question: Where is God in all this?”
Mother Theresa of Calcutta said shortly before her death: “When I see God, he has a lot of explaining to do!” Maybe she now has the answers. The rest of us will have to remain patient.
Allowing ourselves to be overcome with anxiety can paralyze us, stifle our talents and potential which in turn causes us to become only half the persons we could/should be. We are unable to enjoy the present moment being too anxious of what may happen tomorrow. Yet Jesus tells us not to worry about tomorrow.
Ironically most of the things we worry about never happen. That is why worry it is such a waste of unnecessary brain power and energy. Mark Twain came to this realization when he said: “I am an old man and have known a great many troubles, but most of them never happened.”
Philosophers believe we are essentially anxious because we are contingent beings. The problem is that most of us do not realize we are under siege until anxiety has become deeply rooted into our psyche.
I read somewhere that worry is like a rocking-chair; it gives you something to do, but doesn’t get you anywhere! Yet, as Jesus said: “Which one of you by worrying can add a single inch to your height?”
One of the most distressing sources of worry comes from the past. In our low moments, past fears can come back to haunt us. Again, as Jesus told us: “Forget the past and look to the future.”
One way we can help ourselves is to pray. But not the sort of prayer that tells God what we want him to do in our situation. No, we need to pray so as to reassure ourselves that we and our problems are all in God’s hands.
Spiritual Mystic, Blessed Julian of Norwich summed this thought up beautifully: “When the soul is tempest tossed, troubled and cut off by worries then it is time to pray.” These words are the most comforting for us to ponder on when we find ourselves facing challenging or distressing situations.
Prayer is one of the greatest antidotes against all recurring problems. Throughout his life, Jesus continually told the people: “Do not be afraid. Do not be anxious. Do not be worried. I bring you tidings of great joy”.
Unfortunately, we too often fail to put our trust in God mistakenly believing he’s not interested.
The essential message of Christ’s life was and still is: “Come to me all you who are heavily burdened and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28-30)