Archives For worry

A leader’s focus

Ben Reed —  February 13, 2013 — 1 Comment

Drops of dirty road water hurled themselves at the hem of my gym shorts as I rounded the corner. It was a chilly February afternoon, and I was almost halfway through with my jog. It happened to be my long run for the week, the final installment that week for my 13.1 mile training plan.

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image credit: Shape.com

As I rounded the corner, I started down a longer, straight stretch, a slight downhill section that cut its way between a row of houses, cold rainwater zipping across the road as I splashed my way down.

I looked up, and in the distance I saw the next corner I had to round. It was over a half-mile ahead. For the next minute, that’s all I focused on, and as I did, I felt myself slowing down, physically and mentally, frustrated I wasn’t further down the road. Anxious about how far I still needed to pound. My legs were ready to quit, and my mind was nodding its head in agreement. Until I looked down.

I dropped my eyes for a moment and focused on the wet pavement in front of me, putting one foot in front of the other. Looking at the pavement, then at the next puddle, then at the next mailbox, I pressed onwards until, before I knew it, the corner I’d dreaded was already behind me. The music in my ears echoed on as I focused on the next step.

The focus of a leader

There are times when leaders need to look way ahead, dream big dreams, and help paint a massive, far-off-in-the-distance picture of the bigger-than-what-we-can-even-imagine future that’s coming.

But there are also times when we need to put our heads down, and help others see that next step. Forget “the big picture.” Forget “the dream.” Forget “where we’re headed.” Just help people take that next step. Help them to not lose focus on what’s in front of them, and celebrate small wins. To look too far into the future can be paralyzing, frustrating, and anxiety-inducing.

Even a small step of faith in the right direction is worth celebrating. We’re all in process. Don’t paralyze people by the scope of the road you point them down.

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. – Jesus, Matthew 6:34

 

 

 

 

 

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A curious thing about worry

Ben Reed —  November 17, 2011 — 5 Comments

photo credit: Creation Swap User James Cronin

Worry is a curious thing.

We think we can buy our way out of it.

We think we can think our way out of it.

We think we can outlast it.

We think we can out will-power it.

We think we can beat it.

But in the end, it will beat you.

In the end, it will destroy you.

In the end, it won’t give up.

In the end, it will dominate every area of your life.

In the end, it will leave you afraid.

In the end, you’ll be its slave.

Worry withers under the burden of Hope.

And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith? – Jesus (Matthew 6:30)

* Photo credit: Creation Swap user James Cronin

 

 

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Worry, Trust, and God's Control

Ben Reed —  January 22, 2009 — 1 Comment

I want to thank you for all of the prayers you prayed for my son, who had surgery a couple of weeks ago.  It went very well, and he’s recovering nicely.  In fact, he does not even react as if the surgery site is painful now.  We’re so thankful for the outpouring of love and support from you all.

Sending my son in for surgery was one of the toughest things I’ve had to do.  The worst part was when they wheeled him out to the operating room, and we saw him round the corner away from us.  Let me tell you, that was a tough moment.  Part of the reason it was so tough was because it’s my son, and I love him, and I hate to see him hurting.  But the other, and more significant reason that it was so difficult, I believe, was that it was out of my control.  Surgery is beyond my level of expertise, and I had nothing to do with the procedure in the surgery room.  It was completely beyond me.  When things are beyond us, out of our control, we can move in one of two directions: worry or trust.

Worry says that I don’t really trust that God is in control.  Because God is not fully in control, and He’s not going to give this the time, effort, love, and thought that the gravity of this situation deserves, I in my sufficient wisdom will fret, sweat, and unhealthily concern myself with that which I cannot control.  God cannot be in control, because if He were, He would have led me to this situation.  Worry, at its heart, reflects a lack of trust.

Trust, on the other hand, says that though this is a difficult situation, and I don’t know what the outcome will be, God is in control.  As He has been faithful in the past, so will He be faithful now.  God is good, and His love endures forever (1 Chronicles 16:34).  The one who trusts sleeps peacefully in the knowledge that God is the one who provides true safety (Psalm 4:8).  Trust, at its heart, reflects a true belief.

I’d like to say that I never once worried throughout this whole process, but I can’t honestly say that.  However, I can say that difficult situations tend to bring heart issues out.  When difficult times come, use that as a time to evaluate your heart.  Will you worry?  Or will you flee to God?

 

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