Halloween is coming, and it made me wonder about something. What if everyone literally turned into one of their worst character flaws on Halloween. Similar to the Snickers commercial where people turn into grouchy characters until they satisfy their craving for a Snickers bar–I have experienced this, by the way. But seriously, who might you become? The control freak; the couch potato; or, maybe the sweet tooth?–that one sounds kind of fun. I am certain, if these costumes existed, they would fit right in with the other creepy masks you might find down the “scare” aisle. Let’s imagine we’re taking a stroll down that aisle right now, and we put our masks on. What might they look like? Well, I’ll put mine on first, if you promise not to scream. It’s the dreadfully horrid “worry-wart” mask–ugh! Now, let me describe the gory details for you.
The “worry-wart” mask is completely covered in worry-warts from the past, present and future. It has deeply recessed, wrinkle lines indented in the forehead caused by dwelling on past mistakes; trying to always measure up; and a constant fear of failure. The hair looks frightfully scary standing end on end like a spooked cat. Probably the result of the “worry-wart’s” continuous fretting about everything. There’s this growth coming out of its brain that takes on a world of its own from being fed all the “what-ifs” that could possibly happen at all times. You get the idea. Now, I could say that this trait was passed down to me by my parents; and so, it could not be helped. Perhaps that’s true, but I took it on anyway, and it grew into the hideous monster it became.
Here’s a scenario of why I peg myself as the “worry-wart.” Several years ago as a young mom, I attended a home school curriculum fair, and my kids were misbehaving. As a parent, you learn to stick to a usual routine with children; otherwise, things can go awry rather quickly. It became apparent, when my go-to method of counting to three to get their attention, was not working for me. Next thing you know here comes “nosy-ninny”, let’s call her, since we’re all donning our masks. Anyway, she notices my failed attempts and makes the helpful suggestion, “You must teach your children immediate obedience, or they will not listen.” Well, after that I perused the book table lightning fast, and left in a huff, with her words on re-play in my head. Immediately, the worry-wart mask came on, as I thought: “What if I’m not disciplining my children in the right way? Why can’t I get my kids to listen to me? Will they turn out to be rebellious teenagers? What will the other mom’s think of me as a parent?” Blow by blow, I beat myself up over her comment for the rest of the day.
Worrying can take on several forms in our lives, if we let it. Feed your worry, and it will lead you spiraling down into a pit of despair. Thank goodness, there’s an answer for worry in Matthew 6:25-34. When it comes to worry or anxiety, Jesus says, “Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?” v. 25, ESV. The word “anxious”, comes from Greek origin <merimnao>, which means “being troubled, or looking out for ones’ own interests.” —The NAS New Testament Greek Lexicon.
Strong’s concordance defines worry as a distraction, or a literal pulling apart, or being divided. Worry becomes such a distraction for us, because it takes our minds in several different directions. Pretty soon, we start heading down a road of all these horrible scenarios of what might occur, before they even become a reality. Now that explains why Satan would like nothing better than to fill our minds with worry. God has a better solution in Philippians 4:6-7, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Amen to that! We can all pull off our “worry-wart” masks now, and as the glorious hymn says, ‘take it to the Lord in prayer’. There is nothing too great or small that we can’t lay at the master’s feet. So, let’s go ahead and lay down all those monstrous masks, and feel God’s peace resting on our faces, permeating into our hearts and minds. Thank you Jesus, for Your perfect peace!