The Collect for Sunday begins by asking that the Lord might grant us “not to be anxious about earthly things, but to love things heavenly…”  I find that to be an interesting request unto Almighty God.  According to the National Institute of Mental Health, 28.8% of Americans will experience some type of Anxiety Disorder in their lifetime.  That’s something like 89 million people.  That’s a lot of people.

Of course every human being, at one time or another, will experience anxiety.  Again from the NIMH, “Anxiety is a normal reaction to stress and can actually be beneficial in some situations.”  Yet, here we are, praying to not be anxious about earthly things.  As I pondered that prayer, I began to think of all the things church people get anxious about, and as I looked over my list, it was full of “earthly things:”

  • Noisy kids
  • Service times
  • Somebody sitting in my pew
  • Electrical bills
  • Music that isn’t being played on the organ
  • Just to name a few

I started to understand why maybe we should pray for a lack of anxiety.  Maybe we should turn our attention from the trappings of religion toward the love of things heavenly.  Maybe we should take this prayer a little more seriously this Sunday.  Then again, part of my vocation is helping people through those moments of anxiety, and if they don’t get anxious then I lose some job security.  Oh no, now I’ve gone and made myself anxious.

Grant us, O Lord, not to be anxious about earthly things… Amen.


2 thoughts on “anxiety

  1. LOL. Would that we were all such well grounded Christians that we could all be not anxious and love things heavenly at all times. Why, y’all could concentrate totally on preaching and teaching and there’d be no need to spend time counseling. Like that’s ever going to actually happen. But we try, we try.

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