Saturday, October 30, 2010

How Not to be Anxious

The page counter I have on this site offers a variety of looks at visitors, who they are, where they are, how they get to the site, if they arrived via a search engine, and if they did: what was the search topic. Often this site gets visitors who ask search engines: “How can I be less anxious?” This site is titled “Do Not Be Anxious”, a command, a command of Jesus as a matter of fact (Mt 6:25). But despite His command not to be anxious, what if you don’t know how? That’s what some people are asking, “how?”, so perhaps we should consider that question.

When I think of “anxious,” I think of fear. My stereo-typical example is the scary movie, when the music is going: dum-dum, dum-dum, dum-dum, dum-dum, and getting louder: DUM-DUM, DUM-DUM, and the guy with the axe is just about to jump out of the closet --- and off the screen, … at me!

I’m anxious!! How can you not be?!!

Well, … you really don’t have to be. For example, the movie may be scary and make you anxious, but what if you watched it every day for 500 days straight. Would you still be anxious when the music gets louder? I think not, but why not? Well, by then you would be very confident of the outcome of that scene --- the guy will NEVER jump off the screen at you. You are absolutely confident of that outcome, and so you are not scared and, you are not anxious. We need to get in our mind that confidence about the things which make us anxious; we need to be confident of the outcome, and that it is a good thing.

I’ve written here many times of things which lessened or eliminated my anxieties, in hopes that they may be of value to you in lessening yours. It’s what this site is about. But I’ve written a few general posts specifically about getting confident. The Way to San Jose, How to Live My Life, Just a Closer Walk, The Road Not Chosen, and I am in Control – Not! are all about I how became more confident in the face of life’s many anxieties, as we move on our journey through life toward heaven. In those posts I described the journey as me driving a car towards heaven; I am in control to get myself there. Unfortunately, as I note, there are many hazards along the way, and I am NOT in control of them. When they happen, or even when I think they may happen, I become anxious --- things are not going as I planned. If you re-read the articles, you will see that I believe (no, I KNOW) that the way to become confident in the face of these anxieties is to know that I am not alone in this car of my life. Jesus is with me; He said He would be, and I trust Him. He’s been to heaven, He knows the way; He’s traveled life’s journeys and faced all the hazards. With Him with me, I am much less anxious. He knows the way, no matter how scary the route in front of me. He IS THE WAY!

The way to become less anxious is to be confident that Jesus is with you, and you trust in His promise that all things will turn out well. To get to that level of trust, you have to know Him. I’ve read many things about Him in Scripture and in writings of saints and philosophers. And He has shown Himself to me in many miracles in my life. And it all started when I began to trust Him. You can start too; a good place to start might be at the Gospel of Matthew, Chapter 6, Verse 25, where He says: “Do not be anxious,” and then He proceeds to explain why.

It’s a place to start. There is no simple answer as to how to become less anxious, and in fact the answer may be constantly changing, because our life is constantly changing, as we journey on. Have confidence, my friend, that you are not alone in your difficulties, your anxieties. He is with you. Read Scripture, read the writings of the saints, and perhaps if you have time to waste, read some of the posts here. They are all designed to give you confidence, confidence that you are not alone, confidence that the outcome of anything scary will be a good thing, and confidence that you need not be anxious.

God makes good of all things, all things --- even things that go BUMP in the night.

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