Afraid of My Own Shadow

I used to bee afraid of my own shadow. There was a time when I could “see” boogymen waiting to pounce to destroy my peace of mind.  I regretted the past, hoping none would reveal what a dirty, little scoundrel I’d been in my youth;  I lived in the present fearful of indulging in something illegal, immoral or fattening.  As to the future I could imagine all kinds of tragedies–personal, national and international that would destroy my life as I knew it.  This torture could leave me in the pits for days!  Know anyone like that?  Maybe you occasionally find yourself fretting over past mistakes, present problems and possible future disasters.

So are you afraid of your own shadow?  Probably.   Experts analyze anxiety as being 40% a fear of things that will never happen; 30% from past mistakes and hurts;  12% from criticism and gossip; 10% health that will worsen by anxiety; and 8% due to real problems.  8%!  Hardly a number worth worrying about, don’t you think?

There’s no doubt as we anticipate 2012, humans have many things to fear.  (Isn’t this the year when the Mayan calendar ends?)  One of my favorite authors, Oswald Chambers said, “All fret and worry comes from calculating without God.”  Ouch!  As His kid, I don’t want to make one move outside His leading, let alone plan to do so.  Further on in his book, MY UTMOST FOR HIS HIGHEST,  Dr. Chambers says (and I paraphrase), Fretting makes one feel mentally superior to those around him when what it really shows is how far he is from God.

The Psalmist wrote, “I sought the Lord and He answered me;  He delivered me; He delivered me from the pits.” Psalm 34:4 NIV.  So what’s the secret to overcoming anxiety?  First I ask the Lord to deliver me; then I believe He keeps His promises; and third, the next time the demons of despair attack, instead of fretting,  I choose to praise God and to thank Him for delivering me from my worst enemy–me.  Easy formula to remember.  But when trouble comes, it can be easy to forget, too.

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