Honestly, I know God’s word tells me not to be anxious. I know where my strength is. I know that I know that I know that Jesus loves me. So, when I struggle over and over in the same areas, I get a bit pissy. I really do. I get pissy with myself and then I get a bit pissy with God because I just can’t get it through my head that I’m not perfect and I’m not God! It’s true. I know the truth of God’s word. I just believe I tend to give God a really hard time when there is plenty of grace abounding!
Philippians 4:6 tells me: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”
I’m a driven and excitable person. I often churn and turn and twist and ponder about a million different concepts at once. It’s fabulous to be energetic and excitable. But, it’s not fabulous to carry all this chaos in my head. When the pressures of my daily life start piling up, I notice the weight of anxiety creeping in. Sometimes, it’s little stress. Sometimes, it’s big can’t-breath-here-we-go anxiety attack type stress.
God’s word tells me to “cast all my anxieties on Him, because He cares” for me. 1 Pt 4:7 So, what does this look like for me? I wish I could say that I just read that verse and my worries slip away on wispy clouds into the ocean of peace. And there are days, when I know that I am carried above and beyond the situations. I know this is of no grit and grime of my own ability. But, sitting around and reading scripture and doing nothing to change my behavior is just plain silly.
I have been picturing all the ideas and thoughts and worries in my brain as the little green plastic army men in Austin’s bucket of soldiers. Yep, the ones in the movie Toy Story 3. The are marching around and rappelling from the cobwebs and corners, just like in the movie. They are oddly frozen in warrior stances as they are motionlessly creeping along the ground or firing their guns. I see each little concern and anxiety molded into this bright green plastic as they are sliding and rolling into army-tuck covert strategies and positions. My dear friend, Mac Lake, has told me on numerous occasions that I was often carrying around too many people on my shoulders. I need to take them off one by one and leave them alone. That was easier said than done. But, I’m back to that. The little people are the little green plastic frozen warrior soldiers. And not only are they camping out on my shoulders, they are infiltrating my cobwebby brain.
I’m asking for the filling up of Jesus that doesn’t leak, so I won’t reach down and scoop up those little toy soldiers and tuck them back into the cobwebs. And since these little green toy soldiers are marching around in there mucking things up, I’m realizing they are getting a lot of say in what I am thinking. If I’m not focusing my thoughts on “whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable” (Phil 4:8), then I’m usually focusing on the opposite. I’ve got false lies, messiness, disgrace, nastiness, ugliness, and a bunch of other messes taking over. I’m envisioning right now, those little green army soldiers prancing around in their frozen expressionless faces of war on my shoulders. One at a time, I’m drop kicking them into the abyss. I’m volleying them back to you, Jesus. I actually sort of feel like going out side and lining them up and shooting them with a BB gun like the boys do. Except that we don’t have a BB gun.
And then once I drop kick their tiny green butts, I’m praying for a big heaping filling up of Jesus. I’m preaching the gospel to myself. And I’m gonna leave them alone. And as Matthew 6:34, I’m not going to worry about tomorrow. Tomorrow has enough worry of it’s own.
And if I notice the little plastic bobble heads trying to rally for a re-entry and trying to re claim some territory, I’ll think I’ll just use the words of the brazenly inappropriate Scarlett O’Hara:
“I can’t think about that now. I’ll go crazy if I do. I will think about that tomorrow…”