The late July days in Kentucky can be brutal, and this particular day was one of those hot and sticky days. I was at the farm topping tobacco with the my grandfather. Sweat was pouring and the tobacco we were working in was high over head.
It was at break time that my Papaw passed on some wisdom. He poured his cup of of steaming hot coffee—which I still to this day I can not imagine drinking in the middle of summer day—and spoke these words:
“Kevin, there are two types of people in the world. Those that think and those that do not. Kevin, you think and that has certain consequences.”
He went on to explain some of those consequences and how they were playing out in my life as a upper-classman in high school. Papaw rarely interceding like this, so this is one of those moments that I stored in my head and heart.
I am remembering those words this morning. I am a thinker. I think a lot. Please hear me, I am not bragging in this. I am not saying I am smart, I am saying I have a tendency to over think things.
During the span of a normal day my mind can jump from a variety of things.
What will I eat for breakfast?
What emails do I need to respond to?
Where do I need to go today?
What calls must I make today?
When is it going to stop raining so we can get the porch done?
I am I good at what I do?
I am a good dad and husband?
What if I just mess this life up?
If you read down that list again you can watch my thinking turn to worry.
I am sure you have your list of things that have caused worry to arise and taken time away from you this week.
Being prepared is not bad. Thinking is not a sin.
But worry is. Furthermore, fretting is the exact opposite of what we were created for.
How is worry and fret related?
Here is my definition of fret: If worry and fear had a baby, it would be fret.
Fret is worry amped up a few notches.
Worry, fear and fret rob us of life.
God calls us to trust, dwell, take delight, commit and to be still.
Those are the alternatives to fret. Those are the antidotes for fret:
Listen to the words of Psalm 37:1-8
1 Do not fret because of those who are evil
or be envious of those who do wrong;
2 for like the grass they will soon wither,
like green plants they will soon die away.
3 Trust in the Lord and do good;
dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.
4 Take delight in the Lord,
and he will give you the desires of your heart.
5 Commit your way to the Lord;
trust in him and he will do this:
6 He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn,
your vindication like the noonday sun.
7 Be still before the Lord
and wait patiently for him;
do not fret when people succeed in their ways,
when they carry out their wicked schemes.
8 Refrain from anger and turn from wrath;
do not fret—it leads only to evil.
Even if you are a person that thinks a lot, may you make space to choose life today and not fret.