Upset is optional.
I read that statement on a bumper sticker earlier this week. And I love it. Over the years, I have allowed a lot of things to upset me: things people said to me, what people thought of me, what I presumed people thought of me, and so on. Thankfully, I am a reformed drama queen (for the most part). I realize that most of the rides on my emotional rollercoaster were unproductive and unnecessary. So, these days I usually forego the option of upset.
The quote made me think: what else in my life is optional? What about anxiety? I know that many people struggle with anxiety and for serious cases, it’s not a matter of just deciding not to be anxious anymore. Believe me, I begged God for years to take mine away; when it didn’t happen, I assumed it was a lack of faith or diligence on my part. Instead, I had to deal with the root fears causing me to be anxious. And now that I have done that, I am opting to banish day-to-day anxiety as well.
There are a lot of things that I could choose to be anxious about right now:
My niece’s unexpected hospital visit (currently on day 3)
My upcoming mission trip to Ireland
The source of my next paycheck after the consulting project ends this week
… just to name a few. Instead of being anxious, I choose to be peaceful and place it in the hands of One who can handle it all:
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:33-34
I’m slowly learning to live in the present by turning my eyes upon Jesus and resting in the fact that he’s got it all under control.
Anxiety can be optional, too.
P.S. If you need something to make your cares and concerns seem smaller, take a look at this post. 26,500 children each day—I choose to get upset about that.