Thursday, February 26, 2009

Doin' the DO: Feb. 26: Fretting

One of the Lenten disciplines that I am willing to let others in on this year is my attempt to reconnect with the Daily Office ; one of those things that I find spiritually salutary, but that for whatever reason I find incredibly easy not to do.

Today I was struck by a recurring phrase in the Psalm of the day, Psalm 37: "Do not fret yourself." In fact, I intially smiled at the quaintness of it.

But the fact of the matter is, I "fret myself" over one thing or another almost every moment of my waking life.

As I'm typing this, part of my chattering monkey mind is angsting over whom to invite to my aunt's funeral -- the invitation has already been extended to her caregivers at her nursing home, who in many ways became a real family to her...but what about blood relatives who haven't kept in touch in years and who really were not a part of her life? In another corner of my brain I'm feeling peeved about a frequent Beliefnet antagonist of the Southern Baptist persuasion who seems to stalk me on the discussion forums and post rebuttals immediately after my own posts, with an urgency that implies he truly thinks he's saving vulnerable souls from hell by contradicting me. Another part of me is worrying about why I didn't get my COBRA paperwork in the mail yet. Another part of me is anxious about...well, you get the drift.

My pastor was over today to discuss details of the funeral, and as we got to talking general church chat, he expressed his own frustrations with frettery over sermons -- how he has to overcome the fear of people projecting their own issues onto his words in ways that distort what he's trying to say.

"Do not fret yourself"..."Don't be afraid"..."Peace"...constant admonitions and exhortations throughout Scripture.

What would my life be like if I weren't so anxious and stressed and troubled and distracted all the time? What would your life be like? What are some ways to counteract "fretting oneself"?


PS (PSanafter-thought) said...

The fretting pattern that I (we) have is that my son will call with some conundrum that he is in, currently. I'll listen and give him advice (and listen and give him advice X3) until I tell him I've heard this enough, gotta go. Then apparently he lets go of what he is worried about, but I start fretting. And, of course, he doesn't take our advice, nor does he get back to us with the outcome. I'm trying really hard to realize that he just needs an EAR, but not advice, not a solution. He recently lost his job, so I'm sure we'll be hearing a lot of these conversations. BTW, Menard's sucks as an employer. No unemployment insurance if they can make up a reason to fire an employee.

Trish said...

I'm going to be pithy and say, "Invest in some 'Depends' when I'm 'fretting' myself." Depend on God and God's promises in Christ; Depend on the good in others as a gift/fruit of the Holy Spirit; Depend on the fact that even when I am fretting, Jesus promises to be there and not say, "Gee willickers-get OVER IT ALREADY!" Hmm.