I keep telling myself, "It's not that big of a deal. Don't worry about it." See, I've just been swindled out of some money. As in, thousands of dollars. And there's really nothing I can do about it. I tend to be a pretty good negotiator, but I've reached the end of those abilities with no meaningful conclusion. If I'm being honest, the only meaningful conclusion I'd like is to get my money back.
To say, "It's not that big of a deal..." feels disingenuous. Because it is that big of a deal. Maybe you've felt that before. Just the other day I was talking to a guy who missed out on reaching the next level in the Crossfit Open. "It's not that big of a deal" felt like he was lying through his teeth. He'd worked his tail off all year, and fell short of his goal. Now he was worried he'd never be able to make it.
So what do we do with our worries? Whether it's worrying about a job interview, keeping the job you've got, recovering from an injury, recovering your money, or something else entirely, you know willpower doesn't work. You've tried it.
The 3 ways to beat worry
Give your worry to God
When my children are worried, I long for them to bring that to me. So does God, for us. "Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you." - 1 Peter 5:7
Replace your worry with something greater
You have to remind yourself that there's something more powerful than your worries. If you injure your shoulder in the gym, you find alternatives to maintain health despite the challenge. You replace those shoulder activities with something else. Check this out:
"Do not worry about your life...look at the birds of the air." (Matthew 6:25-26) Instead of focusing on the thing that awakens worry for you, focus on the good God's done, and the incredible work all around you. Don’t minimize your circumstances: that thing that’s causing you to worry is real. For me, I am really going to lose this money. For you, maybe you’re really going to lose that relationship, or that job, or your health. Those are tangible concerns. And it’s time to replace your worry about them with something greater. “Look at the birds of the air” means to focus on what God has done throughout history. He’s always come through, always redeemed, and always given purpose to our struggles. Dwell on that.
Stay focused on today
“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” - Matthew 6:34 God has given you today as a gift. Stay focused on that. You can’t control what tomorrow will bring, and how it could, or could not, knock you down. Just keep your gaze focused on Jesus today.
Could it get worse tomorrow? Sure. But if it does, Jesus will be with you. With the Crossfit programming I’m a part of, I’m tempted to look at tomorrow’s workout. When I do, I find myself letting off the gas in today’s workout in the name of saving some energy, prepping myself for tomorrow. Which isn’t healthy. Today’s workout is for today. Tomorrow’s will be for tomorrow.
You have real circumstances that are devastating. It’s time to give them to God, replace them, and focus your efforts on today.
- Ben Reed