Worry, a Gift From God

Around this time last year the season of disorientation began. I got off the roller coaster, more like pulled off. My counselor recently described my life as one of going round and round on a roller coaster. When the coaster came to the end of the line I didn’t get out. I sat and waited for it to roll again as my family watched. They watched me ride and ride and ride. Church involvement, writing seminars, retreats, parts in drama’s and musicals, and my family grew without me. They watched me come home and give them a nod and head for the books and poetry that protected me.

I asked God years ago if he had a nickname for me. The answer was John-boy from the T.V. show The Walton’s. At first I didn’t get it, but considering it further, the name made sense. I was an observer, sometimes a silent one, other times not. I wrote stories and poems about what went on around me. For me it was easier, more natural, to make observations instead of engaging in the myriad of present moments of a large family. The true John-boy observed and wrote, but was also present and engaged in the rudiments of family life during the great depression. I haven’t put down my pen as it were. I have hope to become a full-fledged John-boy, engaged, present, and writing in the cracks of silence afforded me.

A slow deliberate reorientation is taking place. Grace and forgiveness is eroding the self-contempt of the years the locusts have eaten. New rules of engagement are being formed, for my family, for God, for the world. I look for more clear and present moments. It ain’t natural, but it’s coming along.

One sign that I am heading in a good direction is worry. I told my wife Barbara that I haven’t worried this much before. She didn’t even blink and said it was because I am engaging with my family. I know God told me not to worry, but in an odd sense I am grateful for the ability. I now have the opportunity to respond to the “be anxious for nothing” verse. Just this morning I awoke and my son Nathan was gone to work. He works for a snow removal and landscaping place. The roads were icy and I prayed “keep him safe.” That’s all. Simple anxiety removal, even if I have to pray it over and over. God told me it was okay to keep asking for the same thing anyway.

I am thanking God for worry today.


  1. That’s our great God for you. Working all things together for the good of those who love Him…Now that’s what I call being thankful for every thing!

  2. I’ve often thought of worry as an opportunity to pray. Turn your worries into prayer. Not so easy though in the midst of crisis. I may not have the strength or presence of mind to pray. That’s when I ask others to pray as well. And well, my prayers turn into crying out to God.

  3. I always liked John-boy, both the one on TV when I was a kid and the one I get to hang out with in real live.

    (Good night John-boy!)

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