Are you worried about any of the following?

– The economy

– Your loved ones’ safety

– When you will hold your grandchildren again

– The worldwide pandemic

– What the new normal will look like

A good friend compared worry to shoveling smoke. What a great comparison! When you shovel smoke, you’re using up a lot of energy and getting nothing done.

But worry is our natural response when things are beyond our ability to control. We mull things over and over in our minds and try to figure out a way that we can get back “in control.”

I like David’s approach to things beyond his control in Psalm 131. He says,

“Lord, my heart is not proud;
my eyes are not haughty.
I don’t concern myself with matters too great
or too awesome for me to grasp.

Instead, I have calmed and quieted myself,
like a weaned child who no longer cries for its mother’s milk.
Yes, like a weaned child is my soul within me.”

How can we get to that point of calmness and quietness when things are beyond our control? The letter to the Philippians gives us this instruction: in every circumstance pray and be thankful. Neither of these actions is particularly easy; both require intentionality and effort. That might be why we so often choose to shovel smoke.

How have you found calmness and quietness in your challenging circumstances?