I’ve been a bit anxious this week, so God has been teaching me some things. Things about my nature. Things He wants to remove from me.
Here’s the BIG thing. I’m a worrier. I get anxious about a lot of things. Just ask my husband.
But, what is anxiety really?
Its fear about the future. A fear of unknown outcomes. Anticipating the worst. And when we dwell on those fears we become anxious.
Its like going to a haunted house? You know, those make shift buildings you pay to go in so people will jump out and scare you in a freaky costume. Have you ever been to one? Well, I have. Yep, me and I’m a scared-y cat. I actually used to pay for that type of entertainment in high school.
Anyway, I was thinking about these houses and what really makes them so scary…besides all the gore and blood and zombies. I mean sure, all those parts are definitely nerve wrecking by themselves, but what really makes the whole experience scary is YOU, the costumer who paid to walk through it.
Yes, you. How you might ask?
(Ok, even if you don’t ask I’m going to share. You rock for letting me feel like I wasn’t the last one to realize this.)
Back to what I was saying.
You are responsible for the majority of the scare. You are anticipating the worst at every turn. Sometimes someone jumps out at you and other times they don’t. Either way you are freaking out the whole time. Right? It wasn’t just me, was it?
Now imagine a beautiful day. You are just walking down the street with a huge smile on your face, enjoying the moment. All of a sudden, some random person jumps out at you behind a bush and yells BOO! It happens…can I get a “You know it!” from all my California peeps. Hello Hollywood and San Fran.
Ok, so my point. The random bush jumper-outer scared you, I mean it was a surprise for sure, but that was it. The haunted house, on the other hand, it was terrifying. Why aren’t they the same?
It all depends on your outlook. You see, during the stroll you were enjoying life and living in the moment. You weren’t worried about what could or would happen. However, in the haunted house all you could think about was what was looming up ahead and anticipating what terrible thing was going to happen next. And that anticipation made the future even more scary, even though it was only some jumper-outer yelling BOO.
So, the question is “How do you choose to live?” Do you choose to live like you’re walking through a haunted house or do you choose to enjoy the moments you are in, no matter what may be ready to pounce?
My pessimistic self, tends to see the worst possible outcomes. Waiting for something bad to jump out at every turn is just living a life of anxiousness and worry, which is really choosing to live a life of fear. In return for that investment, I am robbed of all the joy I could have that moment. Yeah, I’m pretty sure God has more to say to me about this.
Here are some verses He’s been bringing to my attention:
Can any of you relate? If so, what’s making you anxious these days?