First the 33 year-old’s story:
Yesterday was our church’s first go at our developing corporate gathering. When I arrived home following the service I spent the rest of the evening — we meet at night — going over what had just happened. All I could think about was the stuff that I wish I’d done differently or not at all, and none of this thinking stopped when I awoke this morning. Unfortunately throughout today that evaluating and critiquing turned into an overwhelming sense of I’m-in-way-over-my-head which subsequently turned into worry: worry about my (in)abilities, the future of this church, and the potential for my messing the whole thing up.
And now the 5 year-old’s story:
My son is battling anxiety and worry these days and it’s tied to his starting and going to kindergarten (and living in five homes and participating in five churches in his five years of life). This evening he was convinced that he remembered his teacher saying that she would not be at school tomorrow and that because of this he would have a substitute teacher. He was not at all excited about the prospect of this change to an already hard new part of his life. So his evening, along with mine, was filled with worry.
Then came my son’s bedtime. He got into bed and I laid down beside him. We talked about his worry and then we prayed and asked Jesus to help him, be with him tomorrow at school, and speak to him throughout the day with words of comfort and encouragement. He said he was still worried and I replied with, “we’re not going to worry anymore; we’re going to trust Jesus; he’ll take care of you.” Of course, at no point during this conversation did I connect the dots to my own worry. I believe that this is called irony.
Then I grabbed his Bible, flipped it open, and began to read the story. The story tonight was from Matthew 6 — a little diddy ’bout some birds and flowers. As I read the story and heard the words coming out of my mouth, I realized then that know-it-all-preacher-daddy needed to wake up, hear the birds, and smell the flowers.
It seemed that Jesus had the same message for both father and son tonight.