“Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?” – Luke 12:25
Four friends where flying together in a small single-engine aircraft headed for a weekend fishing excursion when suddenly about half way to their destination the engine began to sputter and eventually died. After several failed attempts to restart the engine the pilot reached under his seat and retrieved the plane’s one-and-only parachute which he then strapped on. As he was pushing the door open to bail out the pilot turned and glanced at his friends. “You guys stay here,” he said. “I’m going to see if I can get some help.”
“I’ve had a lot of worries in my life,” Mark Twain once said, “most of which never happened.” Or as paraphrased by Dave Blanchard in his book Today I Begin a New Life: “Don’t tell me worrying doesn’t work. Everything I worry about never happens.”
My college years occurred during the very height of the Vietnam War, so except for college deferments which inevitably ended upon graduation young men my age faced a high probability of being drafted into the military – or such was the conventional belief. For those of us who got caught up in such beliefs it felt as if death had a noose around our necks. Worry!! And all that worry ever did for me was to change me for a time from being an excellent student with high ambitions to a fatalistic mediocre one – but only for a time. Eventually I did serve in the military and lived to tell about it. And eventually my ambitions returned, most of which have come to fruition plus some. Most of the things I worried about never happened. And the time I spent worrying, all that did was to serve as a distraction from pursuing my ambitions.
“Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?” What about those three fishing buddies abandoned by their pilot friend (friend?)? What about me back in my college days? And what about you? How has worrying added to your life? How has it added to the quality of your life? How much of what you have worried about has ever even happened? “Do not be afraid, little flock,” Jesus assures us, “for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom.” So why do we worry so much?