I watched Bridge of Spies again a couple of weeks ago and something stuck with me. When the lawyer defending Rudolf Abel, an alleged KGB spy, asks him if he is worried, he replies, ‘will it help?’
Of all the things I’d like to change about myself, giving up worrying is definitely top of the list. Like you, I know worrying doesn’t change a thing. It just makes you stressed and unwell. As it says in the Bible, ‘which of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?’
When I’m lying awake I tell myself all these things. It doesn’t stop me fretting though. I could blame it on motherhood or personality. Or, I could just give in and let it take over.
When my eleven year old told me I was always anxious and stressed I knew it was time to find ways to stop. I don’t want to bring her up in an atmosphere of panic and fear. I’m tired of using up energy to change nothing at all.
I remember reading a children’s book where a little girl wandered around hauling a huge, heavy bag. It was making her tired and unhappy. Eventually an old lady sits beside her and persuades her to open the bag and show her what’s in it. After the wee girl pulls all the items out and shows the lady each one, she looks at the bag and sees it is empty.
The old saying, ‘a problem shared is a problem halved’ has some truth in it. When I muster the courage to talk through my concerns I do feel a little better. When I pray, I’m trying to empty my bag and hand it over. Not being perfect, I usually take it all back a few times!
If we can’t stop ourselves worrying, maybe we could try sharing our troubles with someone else. Maybe we could remind ourselves that Someone is there, ready to carry them for us.
Being the frustrating person that I am, I think it’s unlikely I will learn to stop playing roundabouts with bad thoughts in my mind.
Ask me again when I’m the old lady. I hope then at least, I’ll have the sense to share someone else’s.
What about you? What’s in your bag?