Turning Worry into Faith and Action

Worry won't get you far. But taking action in faith will.

Posted in , Nov 19, 2015

Guideposts: A woman gazes thoughtful out a window.

“Worrying is like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do, but doesn’t get you anywhere.” This quotation has been flowing through my mind these past few weeks. I recently had shoulder surgery, and I am being challenged by new situations in my job. Even though I know challenge is good, I have been worrying here and there.

Will the surgery go well? Will I feel relief from the discomfort I have been experiencing in that shoulder? How will I fit physical therapy into my weekly schedule? Have I prepared my students well for their fall term exams? How will I get all the fall term grades and comments completed by the deadline with other work responsibilities and my son’s birthday party and our eldest daughter coming home from school for Thanksgiving break? The fact is, everything will get done. There are ways to squeeze in work and appointments. What is important is the mindset you have throughout.

Worry and anxiety can feel uncomfortable. Such emotions can distract us, and as the above quotation implies, will keep us stuck in place. If we recognize that these emotions are factoring into a current situation, there is always the opportunity to redirect the energy that goes into worry and anxiety towards faith and action. Faith that you can handle the issue or task at hand and taking action with that faith supporting you as you navigate challenges.

Redirection away from worry and anxiety is not easy, nor is it without its own strains, but it is possible. How gratifying it feels to complete something you were worried and anxious about and be reminded that your worry and anxiety were not necessary.

I will get through this stint of work and healing with faith and action, and with the support and understanding of my family. But, perhaps I should do what a dear friend just told me she did, which was to find a copy of my grandfather Norman Vincent Peale’s landmark book, The Power of Positive Thinking, and reread it. This will be part of my action plan, an action plan that will bolster my faith and attitude, thereby diminishing my worry and anxiety.

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