Oh how I long for November. And no, it isn’t because of the pecan pie I will be wolfing down at Thanksgiving. My true longing for October to come to an end is actually motivated by a desire to see my neighborhood’s Halloween decorations packed away for another year. I am all for a day that centers around candy, but this year the decorations are causing me some grief. The main culprit is, specifically, one nylon ghost.
For some reason the fabric ghost, which is tethered to a tree, terrifies my dog. Unfortunately the tree to which the ghost is tied is on the route of our daily walk. The first time we passed the ghost my dog went absolutely bonkers. She jumped, she growled, and the hair on the back of her neck stood straight up. She pulled on her leash and barked and barked. Some people passing the same way found the whole thing quite comical. They weren’t the ones holding onto the leash!
After having my shoulder wrenched for several minutes, I pulled my dog along the sidewalk. That entire block, which is a long stretch, she kept her head turned toward the ghost. I talked quietly to her, reassuring her that the thing that was terrifying her was not real. She ignored my calming voice. She was in such a frenzy that I don’t think she even heard my voice. Every ounce of her concentration was on the ghost. I tried to shift her focus to what was on the sidewalk right in front of us, and she kept looking at the “threat.” She was so consumed by what was frightening her; she missed out on things that would have given her pleasure. Quite a few squirrels went un-barked at that day and a fragrant fire hydrant went un-sniffed. My dog was so worried about something that wasn’t even real that she missed the joy of our walk together.
Sound familiar? As I talked to my dog that day about how silly she was to expend so much energy worrying about something that wasn’t even real, God reminded me that I often do the very same thing. How many times do I miss the beauty of the day the Lord has set before me because I am worried about something that may happen? How many times has he tried to get my focus turned back towards Him so that he could speak truth into my situation? How many times have I missed His calming voice? And the thing of it is, most of the things that push my worry button never come to pass. Can I get a witness?
We have an amazing Master; He holds the entire universe together and still longs to walk through life with us. If we listen to the sound of his voice in our daily time with him, it will be much easier to recognize when the real threats come. He is faithful, He is true. And He hasn’t just suggested that we not worry, He has commanded it.
Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? Matthew 6:25-27
Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:34