Let’s talk about the other “Tion” our adversary uses to throw us off course that we would do well to shun–Speculation. This is something my friend Julie brought up some weeks back that I’ve been pondering a bit. We can what-if ourselves into oblivion, into insanity, can’t we? We have the ability, and even affinity, to give priority and importance to that which has not happened, to that which we do not even know. Talk about a colossal waste of energy and time.
We tend to fill in gaps with our imagination, which is not always positive or helpful. “So and so didn’t say ‘hi’ to me. They’re likely not happy with me.” “Mr. Dude is probably going to be elected president, then this and this and this will happen, and the country will look like hell.” Or what I tend to do these days: “My left ring finger feels a little tingly…I might be dead by morning.” All of these speculations knock us out of the present moment, increase fears of various kinds, and worst of all, take our minds off God. At a bare minimum, we can start by turning all of these speculations into conversations with God. This is a very good move. This is what I call “the mill house of prayer”–taking judgments, worries, and what-ifs and grinding them into dialogue with God, into prayers, something that is actually life-giving instead of soul-sucking. Also, we can check our faith to see if we believe Jesus really is the good Shepherd, ultimately in control, and always desiring what is absolutely best for us in all situations, as well as always instructing us through all situations.
A couple weeks ago I was watching The Village, one of my favorite movies, with our eldest daughter Gabriela, and was struck by this great exchange between the characters Ivy and Lucius sitting on the porch:
Ivy: “How is it you are brave when all the rest of us shake in our boots?” Lucius: “I do not worry about what will happen, only what needs to be done.”
There it is.
For our purposes here we could say, “I do not worry about what might happen” or “about what others might be thinking…”
Worrying about what might happen or what others are thinking serves only to distract us from whatever we need to be doing right now….which may be as simple as conversing with God.