|People say, “I went to my spinning class.” “I’m late for spinning.” I haven’t the faintest idea what they mean. Is the entire world of women taking up spinning yarn? And why do these people, then, wear spandex instead of wool sweaters or tank tops?
Maybe, though, they are talking about the mind-spinning experience of worry. That, sadly, I know well. Far too well, for my soul’s health and the health of about every single relationship in the universe that touches my life.
Worry is spinning out of control. Is it related to control, or rather our lack of control? If we can’t predict it, manage it, or fix it, we worry. And all of those can’ts equals about 98% of the future.
But worry is so subliminal. Our minds hum with its low-voltage electric current without our souls catching on, feeling that pulse, recognizing its damage. My family has noticed-my tension, my clipped answers. My suddenly full-blown ADD, something I’ve never been diagnosed with, nor even thought about, until we became 100% self-employed, missionaries in suburban America.
Worry takes its prisoners, no doubt. Beyond our attention span and our family relationships, worry corrodes our faith. We know we’re not supposed to worry. “Don’t worry,” Paul orders in Philippians 4. Not about anything. ANYTHING. But we do. And then we prettify it: “I’m burdened about this.” It feels spiritual, then, and the church pats us on the back. Good Christians are burdened.
But worry eats away at our faith, however we dress it. When I worry, of course I am not trusting God. But don’t tell me, “Just trust God more.” Really? Duh. I would, if I could.
How, in the mind-spinning, soul-spinning wheel of worry do I trust more?
Trust is an active verb. It is not something that we sit around passively engaging in. That’s far too worrisome. So here’s what I’m trying to do:
Notice the spinning. Worry has become default. I try to recognize worry-the turmoil, the tension. However it shows up in me, my relationships.
Identify the root fear. “God is not going to take care of me,” worry whispers. “God doesn’t really love you, not really.”
Call out the lie. Where have I seen God’s care and compassion? Where has God come through? Has God changed since then? “I, the Lord your God, do not change,” the Scriptures tell us.
Exercise the faith muscle. For me, this literally meant, get a move on. I strapped on a pedometer when worry started eating me alive, and in less than two years logged nearly 2 million steps. Exercise has also meant praying more while I walk. Now worry actually works FOR me, directing me to God and sending my worries there, too. It spins me closer to the One who loves me more than life itself.
Then I realize, that rather than dying of worry and killing off my relationships, I am really living.
It’s really possible: We can worry less, and live more.
Jane Rubietta is the author of 16 books, including Worry Less So You Can Live More: Surprising, simple ways to feel more peace, joy, and energy. She speaks internationally. She and her husband, Rich, co-lead the non-profit organization Abounding Ministries, inviting people winsomely into the deep love of Christ, through music, speaking, retreats, and writing. Learn more at www.JaneRubietta.com.