There is this guy I know that thinks he has a superpower. I know, it sounds crazy, and if you ask him about it, he won’t say it’s a superpower, he would say he is just “normal.” But the way he acts, it is clear he thinks he has a superpower. He uses this power more often than he realizes, almost by accident, and every time he does, it takes a toll on his life – physically, emotionally, even spiritually – and I have seen the damage it does. Literally, he believes that he can change the outcome of a situation in his life or in the world by simply focusing the power of his mind on all that could go wrong. I have given him a superhero name: He is Worry-Man.
Whenever he begins to worry about a situation, whether it is something in his life or something in the news, he begins to take whatever that situation is and roll it over and over in his mind, intently looking at all the facets of what could go wrong, how it would affect him and his family, or the economy, or whatever his mind attaches to as he worries. And he can spin whatever difficult situation he is facing into a giant ball of stress and worry in no time at all. Unfortunately, that ball of stress eats away at his health, his relationships with people, his emotions and his relationship with God.
And here is the worst part: Worry does nothing to change the situation. It is worthless, a waste of time and energy. It’s like riding a stationary bike to Reno – you can pedal all day, but you are not going to get anywhere. That is what happens when we worry – nothing. Yet so many people spend so much time stressing and worrying over situations instead of dealing with them. And all that worry and stress takes its toll on our bodies; the majority of doctor visits in our society today are about stress related symptoms.
Knowing this was an issue for people, Jesus addressed it head on in Luke 12:25-26. “Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? And if worry can’t accomplish a little thing like that, what’s the use of worrying over bigger things?” The answer is: Of course not. Worry is not a superpower, it’s a waste.
So what do we do instead? What is the antidote to worry, since it really is not a superpower, just a waste of time? “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.” (Philippians 4:6 NLT). Instead of worrying, pray. Talk to God about what is bothering you, what has you stressed and worried, because He has invited you to unload your worries on Him. And be thankful for what you have received in life, because gratitude is a much healthier emotion than worry. Prayer and gratitude are stronger than Worry-Man any day.
Pastor Bill McCready of LifePoint Church is a meber of the Carson Valley Ministers’ Association.