The Height of Unproductivity

Jack had been a compulsive worrier for years, to the point that it was ruining his life. He saw a psychologist who recommended a specialist who could help him.

His friend, Bob, noticed a dramatic change and asked “What happened? Nothing seems to worry you anymore.”

“I hired a professional worrier and I haven’t had a worry since,” replied Jack.

“That must be expensive,” Bob replied.

“He charges $5,000 a month,” Jack told him.

“$5,000!!? How can you afford to pay him?” exclaimed Bob.

“Hmmm, I don’t know. That’s for him to worry about.”

It would be nice to be able to just pay someone to do your worrying for you but life doesn’t work that way. Even those who could afford doing it realize quickly that having lots of money does not make your worries go away. In fact most have found that the more you have the more you have to worry about.
Worry is the height of unproductivity. Some worry about the past, which can never be changed no matter how much you worry about it. Others worry about the future, which can be changed, but one thing that will never change it is worrying about it.¬†I saw a sign in a store recently that said: “Worry is like a rocking chair; it gives you something to do, but it won’t get you anywhere.”
Someone once called worry “a misuse of imagination,” and I agree. We imagine all the negative scenarios and fret over things we can’t change. It never helps, but certainly can hurt. As Corrie Ten Boom once said, “Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow; it empties today of its strength.”
I remember seeing a Peanuts cartoon once where the¬†perpetually pessimistic Charlie Brown proudly proclaimed: “I’ve developed a new philosophy. I only dread one day at a time.” That may have been making progress for Chuck, but I think he may have been missing something.
I am surprised at how many people in our high-stress world think worry is just a normal part of life, even those who follow Christ. Jesus clearly commanded us not to; “Do not worry,” He said, several times in the Sermon on the Mount. “Do not be anxious about anything,” echoed the apostle Paul in his epistle to the Philippian church.
In fact, Paul’s prescription for those who worry was to replace your worry with prayer. That same verse from Philippians 4 is paraphrased well in the Living Bible: “Don’t worry about anything; pray about everything.”
Or, as Martin Luther said so well, “Pray, and let God worry.”