An author I follow shared an Amish proverb on Facebook one recent morning.
"A good way to test your memory is to try to remember the things that worried you yesterday."
At first I chuckled and thought, “Believe me, I can remember what worried me yesterday.” But, later that day I realized just how true that proverb is.
That morning I’d been stressed. I had lost something, and I was frustrated and worried about finding it. I couldn’t think of another place to look, and the irritation of it dominated everything else I was trying to do. Meanwhile, I didn’t know what to fix for lunch or exactly how to approach the rest of my day. I was looking forward to a pretty busy week and a half and needed to get some of my tasks going. But, I just didn’t know where to start.
All in all, it made for a frustrating, worry-filled morning.
By lunch, my wonderful husband had found what I had lost (naturally exactly where I had expected it to be and had looked two or three times already!). Oh, and as for lunch itself, my husband also reminded me of our typical lunch plans for Wednesdays. Easy tortilla pizza, since we have our big meal at church on Wednesday evenings. Meanwhile, one thing after another just melted off my list, and I found myself faced with a rather nice, slow-paced, yet productive afternoon.
It was in the middle of one of those productive afternoon activities that the proverb from the morning came flooding back to my mind. I chuckled. It wasn’t so much that I couldn’t remember the worries of my morning. It was more that I realized just how petty they were. And thinking ahead, I realized that by that time next week I probably would have no recollection of those worries.
Some of the things that hound us truly will stay with us for days, months, and even years. Every time a doctor questions something he sees in a routine appointment with a child, I remember the months of concern we had when Angela was an infant and her white blood count was mysteriously high. Every time I hear of someone trying to sell a house, I remember the struggles and fears surrounding trying to sell our own house. When a friend is in desperate need of a job, whether new or simply different, I am taken back to the uncertainty of our own job hunts. When a woman is placing a protective hand on her expanding belly as her due date approaches, I remember the anxiety of those last weeks of pregnancy. Yes, some things stick with us. And it is from those things that we learn the incredible faithfulness of God through times of challenge. We remember the struggle because then we can remember the power that met the struggle.
But, far too often it is not those things that weigh us down. Instead it’s those petty things that we really won’t remember. We think they are so huge. But then when they are simply, quietly, and almost boringly resolved, we quickly forget them as we move on to the next frantic worry.
What are you worried about today? Is it really something that will build your faith as you turn it over to Christ daily? Or is it just something that is an immediate nuisance, marring the face of your expectations for the day? May we learn to just drop the worry of the things that are meaningless that we may have the energy to truly turn our worry over meaningful things over to the Savior who can grow us through them.