Life Notes—February 7, 2013
“Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’” Matthew 6:31
“My life has been filled with calamities, some of which actually happened.” Mark Twain
I was convinced this was the end. I was going to die on a predawn flight to Chicago. The dark sky had a subtle hint of a sunrise I was unlikely to see, and from that streak of pink it was clear our jet was headed down. Not straight down, but clearly losing altitude at an alarming rate. A petrified flight attendant buckled herself into a seat across from my co-worker and me so as not to die alone. The kisses I gave my sleeping wife and children when I left home that morning would likely be my last. Was my relationship with God sufficient? Would my children remember me as they grew up? Would my wife find another man with even a fraction of my splendid qualities (J)?
Clearly, I was choosing to spend my last moments on earth—like so many of my other moments on earth—worrying. At some point the airplane leveled off and began to climb. After the flight we were told a cabin pressure gauge had failed and the pilot dove below 10,000 feet to prevent the oxygen masks from deploying, which would have created a two hour delay in Chicago, resulting in flight delays for the rest of his shift. He had not wanted to make an announcement over the intercom, assuming we were all sleeping and wouldn’t notice the little detour towards the ground.
In his book Conscious Capitalism, John Mackey writes, “The most important insight about fear is that it seldom exists in the present moment. It is almost always about the future, something we are afraid is going to happen. When we direct our attention fully into the present moment, fear greatly lessens or disappears.” Apparently, the University of Cincinnati did a study on worry and found that 85% of what we worry about never happens. And 79% of us handle the 15% of our worries that do manifest much better than we imagined we would. So what are we worried about? Unfortunately, we worry about nearly everything, even though nearly everything we worry about does not happen. We are obsessed with looking forward into the unknown of the future and projecting the worst, instead of living in the present moment and enjoying its blessings. Of course, some moments contain problems to be addressed, but worry does nothing to help with those. When we stay in the moment, where we belong, we find our blessings.
Tom will preach downtown where Life worship is at 10:00 in Brady Hall and traditional worship is at 8:30 and 11:00 in the sanctuary. Mitch preaches at the west campus where worship is at 9:00 and 11:00. His sermon title is “On the Job,” based on Luke 5:1-11.
Come home to church this Sunday. What should you wear? Wear a smile!
Greg Hildenbrand, Life Music Coordinator