Wednesday, 21 May 2008

Trinity 1 - why worry?

My column for the parish newsletter for Trinity 1:

Our gospel reading for this morning contains some great advice, which I
only wish I could follow.
Worrying is what I do - it's not a preferred pastime, but one which I have
become rather good at over the years.
However, I like to think that I've gotten a little better at recognising
those things that aren't worth worrying about, or that worrying about will
not actually make any easier.

For example, last week I worried a lot about what to preach on Trinity
Sunday, but when I discovered on Trinity Sunday that I was in the vestry
at St. Mary's and my sermon notes were in my study at home, I didn't
really worry at all. The one I could do something about, the other not.
Perhaps that's a good place to start - worry only about the things that
are worth worrying about. Perhaps we should do less worrying and more

I think there is great wisdom in recognising when worrying will not
actually help a situation at all, and in knowing how to let go of those
worries. Worrying about your speed in a traffic jam, worrying about
whether or not you'll have a job in 5 years, worrying about whether we'll
have sunshine over the weekend, worrying about whether or not someone
likes you - I could go on and on ? these are all examples of futile

However, to stretch the metaphor a little, what we can do is try and avoid
heavy traffic routes, or keep performing well at work and looking for
opportunities to add more skills to our CV's, or have a plan B in case it
rains, or work to earn someone's trust and friendship - these are all
perhaps ways in which planning can be beneficial, while worrying can't.
That way there SHOULD be less to worry about, but I know that that's not
always the case, either. Being absolutely in control is not often
accompanied by low stress levels.

I guess this is a prime example of a delicate balance that we only really
begin to learn about with experience and the wisdom that age brings.

And there I was, worrying about getting old!

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