This morning, I rose propelled by adrenaline. Stress and all its friends (anxiousness, worry, panic) had an icy grip on my heart. My racing mind knee-jerked and said, “Rise, tackle the list, get it done–or else!”
All of this at 3:00 a.m.
It doesn’t really matter the task, does it? A worrier’s heart will find a way to worry.
I can rationalize the problem, since some qualities of this bent are good: getting it done, doing it well, and working hard. But underneath the pretty, whitewashed exterior, there’s an ugly competition:
Pride and anxiousness battle tirelessly for first place in my heart.
On the one hand, the idea that my own works say something good about me. On the other, the “what-if,” “worst-case” scenarios of dread play out in my mind.
If you’re like me, people without this struggle don’t understand you.
You may appear to be an enigma–someone constantly propelled forward, needing little rest, little reward, and little time to accomplish much. You may be a wrecking ball of power and swift accomplishment. You might be the “how-does-she-do-it” mom, or the “look-at-his-success” man. They don’t know that your driving force is not always quiet resolve, but is sometimes stress and pride lighting a fire in your bones.
On the other hand, you may be a hop, skip, and a jump away from a full-on panic attack. You may be racing around in a tizzy, looking a like a fool to the world.
“Just stay on top of things,” they innocently suggest, as if you were ever behind.
“Bless her heart,” they say, knowing you’re drowning in an imaginary tidal wave of busyness. You may be a frazzled mess, moving with all the speed of a celestial body toward your next task. The tragically-funny piece of your race is that your to-do list has no end. And, truth be told, you wouldn’t know what to do with yourself if it did.
Praise God, there’s no hope for those ugly challengers. They don’t know that the competition is Jesus.
I’m not lost in my ways, because Christ’s continual triumph is within me, and “I am sure of this, that He who began a good work in [me] will bring it to completion.”
With gladness, I can surrender the tasks set before me to Him.
23 Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.
With peace, I can surrender my anxieties to my loving Father.
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
Type A friend, don’t toil under the illusion that you must go it alone, or that a weight is on your shoulders. You need not carry it alone. All that’s left for you to do is to lay it all down at the feet of The Lord.
Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”