Friday, February 27, 2015

Worry warts and all

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Okay, I knew it. I knew it. I KNEW it.

I read this yesterday: The tendency to worry about stuff could be a sign of a certain kind of intelligence, according to a paper in an upcoming edition of the journal Personality and Individual Differences. A team led by Alexander Penney of Ontario's Lakehead University gave 126 undergrads a litany of surveys and questionnaires designed to measure both their intelligence and how much they tended to stress about events in their lives. (For instance, they were asked how strongly they agreed with statements like, 'I am always worried about something.') After analyzing the results, Penney and his team found a correlation between worrying and verbal intelligence.

So, all my worrying is simply a sign of my incredible verbal intelligence. I'm asking that for the moment you forget I don't know what verbal intelligence is and instead focus on the fact that I have it in spades because I'm what my mother used to call a "worry wart."

Again, forgetting I don't know what that means, either.

Let's for the moment concentrate on the fact that the study shows all my worrying is simply a sign of all my intelligence. I'm, as my mother used to say, sharp as a tack (and that's one I understand).

The problem is, all that worrying helps nothing. Nada. Nope. No way. (Just exerting some verbal intelligence there.)

Jesus said it this way: "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 they not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?"

But, er, uh, what about my verbal intelligence Jesus?

Look, scripture is pretty clear about what we must not do (worry, worry, and er, worry).

Philippians 4:6 tells us "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God."

1 Peter 5:7 tells us to cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you."

Now, my verbal intelligence tells me that is hard to do, this casting all my anxiety on him, but the rest of me knows by experience that if I don't, if we don't, there is no peace that surpasses all understanding.

There are plenty of things swirling around (aren't there always?) me, but here's my understanding (verbal or otherwise). The opposite of worry is trust. The question comes down to can I trust, Him (and the comma is on purpose). If I can, then I can give away my worry.

Whom shall I fear. I am His. I can triumph over any worry. And my verbal intelligence is just fine, anyway.