- How to greet my family in the morning
- What to think about in the shower
- What to wear today
- When to leave the house for my meeting
- What to talk about with my kids in the car
- Where to sit at my meeting
- Whether I spend time today worrying about our finances
Thousands of choices are before me every day. Some are automatic, habits ingrained due to repetition. Most happen in a matter of seconds. I do not always think about the choices that I make or even recognize them as choices. Worrying falls into this category. It is a choice, a bad habit that can be (and should be) broken with prayer and persistence.
Prayer helps my heart focus on truth. I ask God to first make me aware of the times I am worrying. It is similar to carrying a large suitcase around with me all day. It is a heavy and tiresome load to bear. The contents are precious to me, but I do not trust others to care for it as I do. My choices are clear. Do I continue in my effort, furthering my frustration and exhaustion? Or, do I choose to bring the baggage before my God and leave it with him?
Sometimes I leave my load with the Lord only to pick it up again the next day.
Now I am faced with the choice of beating myself up about the backslide, or trying to let go again. So many times I focus on the first option, when persistence is what I really should choose. So, I go to God once more in prayer and ask for forgiveness and the strength to try again. And again. And again.
I have heard that it takes at least four weeks of doing the same thing over and over again to form a habit. I imagine it takes a bit longer than that to break one. If I keep choosing to trust my Heavenly Father with the issues I am worrying about, after awhile it will get easier and easier to do. Perhaps it will become second nature some day, like getting ready in the morning. I will wake up, get out of bed, set my suitcase at the foot of the one who is strong enough to carry it, and begin my day.
"Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly."
(Matthew 11:28-30 The Message)
Thank you Lord for thousands of opportunities each day to trust you. Help me not to get discouraged when I make poor choices, but to turn to you again and again. I know your desire for me is to live a worry-free life. Show me where I am not trusting you fully. Amen.