Anxiety seems to be an experience shared by so many people nowadays, that it has almost become a way of life. Anxiety at its core is the anticipation of a negative outcome: something bad might happen, and that causes anxiety.
If we pay attention, experience shows us that even when we anticipate something positive, something exciting and life changing, we can still feel anxiety, often manifested through an underlying feeling of unsettledness. Often it is the fear that the anticipated future may not come to pass after all, but there is something deeper at play here.
When we live in the future - anticipating bad and even good outcomes - what we are doing is putting life on hold, even if for a little while. Instead of living in the real world, we live in our heads. We no longer live in the present moment, with whatever that moment requires of us. In that sense we end up living an artificial life.
We do not have the energy necessary to deal with what MAY come up. We have energy to deal with what DOES come up each moment, in that moment. That is why Jesus teaches us to not worry about the future.
So show up. Breathe. Be aware of now. Let the future worry about the future, even if good things are afoot. Celebrate the energy of being fully alive by paying attention to what is going on around you and within you.
In a conversation with an experienced minister, I realised that the number one reason children don’t want to come to church or participate in worship is that they hear their parents and grandparents criticise their minister around the dinner table. Why would they ever want to put themselves in that position?? Think!
Next time when you feel like criticising someone to elevate your own sense of self, think about the collateral damage!
People come to church if there is love there. Criticism is to love as oil is to water. They do not mix. Ever. Repent of this spirit of criticism and see new life emerging!