March 30

Today's quotation:

How much pain have cost us the evils
which have never happened.

Thomas Jefferson

Today's Meditation:

This is one of the most common thoughts that we find in the quotations books and websites.  How much do we hurt ourselves by worrying about how things are going to turn out, by thinking that the worst is going to come to pass even though there's no real indication that this is even a remote possibility.

Our minds like to worry.  Our minds like to keep us thinking in negative terms, for then our egos, which like to be "in charge," have full power over us, keeping us focused on our need to try to control situations in order to avoid disaster.  The problem is that we really don't have control over most situations, so our attempts to avoid these "evils that never happen" are really just exercises in futility.  But what happens is that since these things don't come to pass, we convince ourselves that we successfully avoided them rather than seeing things as they are--our greatest fears wouldn't have come to pass anyway.  But now that we're convinced that we avoided them, the next time a worry comes around we act the same way.

How much time have you spent worrying about something that never happened?  And the important question:  how might you have spent all that time doing something much more productive than worrying?  What might you have given to life--your life and the lives of others--if you hadn't been focused on worrying about something that wasn't even going to happen?

Trust life.  Trust God, whatever you conceive him to be.  We are not here to suffer and to be miserable--we're here to thrive and to love.  Worry is a force that keeps us focused on the negative possibilities, rather than on the beautiful realities of the present moment.

Questions to consider:

What kinds of worries do you have?  Do they often come true?  Did your worrying help the situations?

How much time do we lose by being focused on things that never come to pass?

How might you notice when you start to worry about uncontrollable things and shift your focus to something more productive or positive?

For further thought:

Worry not about the possible troubles of the future; for if
they come, you are but anticipating and adding to their weight;
and if they do not come, your worry is useless; and in either
case it is weak and in vain, and a distrust of God's providence.

Hugh Blair


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