Read Matthew 6:25-27
25 That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? 27 Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? (NLT)
Some years ago there was a bestselling song titled Don’t Worry Be Happy. Its tune was catchy but its message was at best simplistic and at worth misleading. Stopping worrying by trying to be happy is not a long-term remedy for worry. Besides, happiness itself is not the aim of the game.
Jesus is telling us to look elsewhere for guidance. He tells us that focussing on our everyday material concerns is to focus on the wrong things. In our society it might not be food or clothes but others’ opinions, work, health, finances. It is not wrong to think about these things, but worry is not the same as prayerful, wise reflection and planning. These might help, but worry does not.
Worry has us overwhelmed by the real or imagined threat. Prayerful planning and thought puts such threats into perspective by reminding ourselves of the care and power of God. Worry doesn’t work because it doesn’t allow us to think clearly or pray discerningly. Worry has us go around in futile circles; prayerful reflection has us perceive ways forward and makes us aware of the bigger picture of faith.
Worry won’t add a single moment to your life, but it can sure drain life of lots of otherwise meaningful moments.