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  • Writer's pictureHelen Bent

Don’t worry (24-09-21)

A Bible Reading: Matthew 6. 25 – 27, 34 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?

…Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."

A Thought The Bible is full of instructions about worry, mostly along the lines of: ‘Do not be afraid.’ ‘Do not worry.’ ‘Do not be anxious.’ Easier said than done!

We had an interesting experience at the beginning of our fortnight’s holiday. Half-way to our first stop near the Malvern hills, we got stuck in a traffic jam on the M42. The car (or was it the caravan?) suddenly started making ominous banging noises as we crawled along. Anxiety levels immediately shot up. In the midst of a crowded motorway, albeit in stationary traffic, David leapt out to have a quick look at the tow hitch, jockey wheel and tyres. All appeared well, but the unnerving sounds continued.

We pulled into the next emergency bay and made a more thorough examination, but nothing was apparently amiss. We travelled on, the traffic cleared, and we picked up speed. We cautiously continued on at a modest pace and the clanking stopped, only to begin again as soon as we slowed down to get off the motorway near Worcester.

We arrived safely at our first site and David began the holiday on the phone to the garage in Brixworth and the caravan service people asking for advice. Both car and caravan had been serviced prior to holiday, but David took the car into a local garage to be checked over nevertheless. Nothing! The long-distance lorry driver in the next caravan suggested it was the heat, though no one else was inclined to agree. In the stationary traffic jam, the car thermometer had hit 31 degrees. Perhaps the hottest day of the summer?

The episode could have coloured our whole holiday if we had let it. We were driving down to Dorset four days later, and then back home again ten days after that. This was a pertinent moment to remember Jesus’ instructions from the Sermon on the Mount. Worry cannot add a single hour to our lives, but worry can greatly undermine our peace and wellbeing day to day. Having checked everything, it was time to trust that all was well and put the bumps and bangs to one side until the next journey. Both subsequent journeys went smoothly with no further incident. Any worry during those days in between would have been completely unnecessary. An important lesson to take on board, time and time again.

Let us determine to live one day at a time, enjoying the present moment, and facing the challenges of this day without looking too far ahead in the sure and certain knowledge that we are valued by God, who cares for us and knows what we need.

A Prayer Faithful God, may we live today to the full,

resting in your presence, and trusting in your help with the worries of this day. Amen.

'Don’t be afraid' by John Bell and Graham Maule

sung and signed by children

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