I have always wanted to do something great with my life. Sometimes I wonder if I didn’t procrastinate so much or was less easy going, how my life would be different today. I am a time waster. I am not ashamed of being a time waster, but I do feel guilty. I allow fear and worry to make my decisions for me. I suppose I have always been this way, just not to such a severe degree. It is almost debilitating now. So, much so, that I am scared to do the things I enjoy. My fear is based on other people’s reactions and opinions. Only when I decide to not care about what other people think will I be free of my voluntary handicaps.
Recently, I have been overcome with worry and “what ifs”. So much so, that it has altered my daily mood and dampened my spirit. Of course, every time I worry and have what ifs running rampant through my mind, this verse in Matthew chapter 6 comes to mind, “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” But this time, it did not bring comfort nor was it helpful. I was already drowning myself in worry and not allowing anything to penetrate my concerns.
What I didn’t know, was that in reading my child a night time story was where I would get my slap in the face comfort. The hit in the back of the head “Aha!” moment. These two sentences from The House At Pooh Corner is what had the power to penetrate my chronic worry and constant what ifs.
It was a windy day in the Hundred Acre Wood and Piglet was scared. Piglet pushed against the wind and heard the wind in the trees above. Scared, Piglet asked, “Supposing a tree fell down, Pooh, when we were underneath it?” “Supposing it didn’t,” said Pooh after careful thought.
“Supposing it didn’t.” Those three little words stopped me from reading on and actually penetrated my heart. In my constant worry and what ifs, I never bothered to think what if nothing happens? What if everything goes as planned? What if strangers or people I know could care less about what I am doing? Or so what if they do care? My child was already asleep after I read those sentences and I sat there rocking him, just pondering how easy and yet profound the statement, “Supposing it didn’t,” that came from a bear “with very little brain” was.
When you read the Winnie the Pooh stories by A.A. Milne, you begin to respect Winnie the Pooh for his different way of thinking. Even though he and his friends considered him a bear “with very little brain” he is the one everyone comes to for help because of his out of the box thinking. I chose this day to begin thinking like Pooh Bear. Every time I begin to worry, whether rational or not, I say to myself, “supposing it didn’t.” From that statement, instead of coming up with all the ways my predicament could go wrong and how people would react, instead I list all the ways it could right, which in turn changes my mood to hopeful and calm.
My challenge to you:
Join me and changing our “what ifs” to “supposing it didn’t.” List all the ways your situation could go right. If something does go wrong, look back at your list and determine if it would have been worth worrying about. Everything doesn’t always go as planned and it is not suppose to. Sometimes great experiences come out of situations gone wrong. Sometimes it is a learning experience to prepare us for events in our future, so we will be properly armed to tackle a bigger problem and defeat it. Go into every situation prepared with a worry-free mindset and when it goes right celebrate and when it goes horribly wrong (which is very possible) accept it, deal with it and move on. Don’t let life steal your God-given joy.
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1:2-5 (NIV)
Lauren Ortiz is an introverted, self-employed, work-at-home mom. She has a B.S. in Early Childhood Education from Southeast Missouri State University and a Masters in Biblical Studies from Temple Baptist Seminary. When she is not writing, reading children’s lit or spending time with her family, she is helping guests create long lasting memories with her family photo booth business. Her ambition is to spread encouragement when life seems bleak.