Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Fighting Off Drive-By Worry

Sometimes I’m a victim of drive-by worry. I can be doing the simplest of things like drinking coffee or reading or sleeping or talking with someone, and WHACK, something to worry about crashes right through the screen of my life and into my head.

I hate worry. Sometimes, that’s my problem—hating worry. If I think worry is bad, if I think worry is my problem (“Oh, no! Worry is here!”), I get focused on worry and begin devising plans to get rid of it. I become my own counselor when The Counselor Himself is already in me, and I give Him nothing to do. Oops.

It goes much better when I ask a question like, “Well, Holy Spirit, what’s going on?”

And even if I don’t hear a thing (and that’s about a 50/50 chance), something begins to change in me simply by directing my thoughts toward God. (It’s that whole sewing and reaping deal found in Galatians 6:8.) When I give my attention to Him, He begins to do something in me, even if I don’t know what’s bothering me. And I remember that I am not my own assembly line, and I’m not supposed to produce something for the glory of God. I live by faith in Him and He does the glory thing. Inner turmoil means that He wants to do something, whatever that is.

Unfortunately, the ‘whatever that is’ initially bugs me. What if I have to say something to someone that I’d rather not? What if He wants me to get out of bed and pray with Him for awhile?


But I think worry is simply a sign that my flesh is in conflict with the Spirit because He wants to do something in me and/or through me. And the flesh is putting up its usual resistance. No surprise there.

“For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please.” (Gal 5:17 NAS)

I don’t think I’ll ever fully welcome worry, but I’m learning to turn to the Spirit when the drive-by happens. And that’s the best course for life.


  1. Anonymous8:32 AM

    Ralph, once again you hit the nail on the head! Thank you and have a fun anniversary.
    Debbie R

  2. Anonymous10:01 PM

    I needed that today! Okay Lord, where will we live? The list is HUGE! Thanks God for giving Ralph those words.

  3. Anonymous10:02 PM

    Thank Ralph for sharing something that is very common to all of us. Sometimes I find myself saying to myself "God is my provider" several times while breathing in a deeply. It seems that when I exhale my mind is comforted and I know nothing is out of God's control.

  4. Anonymous10:02 PM

    Ralph, thank you soo much for this. You DO have a way (Jesus in you) to make my day.
    Frankie P.

  5. Anonymous10:07 PM

    Thanks, Ralph for thinking about me & John.

  6. Anonymous8:41 PM

    the sowing and reaping message stuck, i address God every day with that in mind.