When I (as a pastor) Get Anxiety
Today is my day off. Fridays for our staff is a Sabbath day of rest. We aren’t supposed to work.
When I got out of bed this morning, I began to feel the pressure of anxiety creep into my consciousness. It wasn’t linked to specific thoughts or pressures of life. It was just a dull roar in the depths of my spirit. Why? I began to ask myself, “What did I leave unaccomplished this week?” Maybe I was getting stressed because I forgot something. Maybe I did something wrong or maybe I didn’t finish something successfully. What was left to accomplish before Sunday? Maybe I needed to ‘get something done’ before our services on Sunday. Is someone mad at me and I need to resolve it? I begin to focus on the mystery and try to figure it out. Thinking that if I could just resolve the issue, then everything would be at peace. All these thoughts came before my feet hit the floor. I had only been awake about 30 seconds. So this is what I did…
I went downstairs to cook some breakfast and made a decision. I will meditate on the Truth of God’s word. Scripture began to come to mind. I went to my Bible (while eating eggs and beans) and read:
Philippians 4:6 “Be anxious for nothing, 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 minds through Christ Jesus.”
After I read it, it made me feel a little better, but I still had twinges of anxiety. I know that the Bible is right, but I don’t feel it exactly. At this point, two things became evident.
- The philosophy of the world (of the devil) was ruling my mind and not allowing the Truth of God’s word to reign. I needed to read scripture and meditate on it UNTIL it saturated my thinking and changed my behavior. I needed to wash my brain with the Word of God. Get a mental picture of your brain literally being scrubbed with the ‘soap and water’ of Word of God. That sounds a lot better than Brainwashing. However, I think we should all be brainwashed by the Word of God. Let the pure Truth of God’s word cleanse our misconceptions and lies from the enemy that we believe. Let me just say that the lies and misconception of the enemy does not come from a little horned, red caped, fire breathing, urchin. It comes from comfortable surroundings, voices around us, and familiar voices within us. I needed to continue to read those verses until the essence of God’s Truth permeated and saturated my body, soul, and spirit. Sometimes this takes memorization. Sometimes it means blocking time off to sit quietly and reread text until it sinks in my soul and I start believing it to the core of my being.
- I needed to actually DO what the scripture said. The power in the scripture begins with understanding and believing it. However, it requires obedience and practice. So, I have to actually pray. I have to actually give thanks about specific blessings I have already obtained. I have to request from God.
Read the word of God, allow the Word to reshape your worldly philosophy, and then obey.
That is how I am spending my day off. Well, I will add a little NCAA basketball to the mix once priorities are taken care of.