life · shadows · thoughts · worry

Thursday thoughts…

Worry often gives a small thing a big shadow.
Swedish Proverb

Sometimes I worry but not often and not for long. It’s just not my nature. That wasn’t always true. There was a time that I worried all the time. Sometimes I would get sick with worry. What a waste of time and energy!

I have a friend who is a missionary in west Africa. Many years ago she and her co-workers were held captive in their village by rebel insurgents. To say I was worried is an understatement. There was no communication with the missionaries or the rebels. Just silence for two weeks.

I was at work when I got the news. I was so upset and worried that I couldn’t think. It was as if there was a big black cloud hovering over me. I couldn’t just leave work so I decided that the first five minutes of every hour I would let myself worry uncontrolled. Then I would pray for my friend and the others being held. After that I went back to the tasks at hand.

The missionaries were released and allowed to use their vehicles to get to the river and cross over into an area that was safe where others from the mission family were waiting. Thankfully, no one was hurt although they were not allowed to take anything with them, just the vehicles and the clothes they were wearing.

It was amazing how that little exercise helped me. It calmed me down and gave me hope. Over the years I used the exercise quite often and each time I found peace. Now I don’t allow worry to take hold of me and there are no big black clouds or shadows that hover. If it seems worry is going to be stronger than my resolve I remember that I am in control of what and how I think about any situation. It is not that there is nothing worrisome in life it just doesn’t cast a big shadow.

My friend (and the others were all fine) and she is still a missionary in Africa.

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