“Worry is a cycle of inefficient thoughts whirling around a center of fear.” ~Corrie Ten Boom
I pull out the old red crockpot that my mother-in-law gave me 35 years ago. I have newer ones, but I like this one better for soup. I chop onion, dice carrots, slice celery and snip the leaves. Pour in split peas. Salt. Pepper. Stir. Cover.
Simmer. Simmer. Simmer.
Gracee has a rash on her face, and so I go to school to pick her up because Abby is caring for a friend post surgery.
A delicious aroma wafts out the window and curls under the door, and Gracee complains. “What is that awful smell? It reeks!”
I guess she won’t be having soup for supper.
It strikes me that I often (well, used to) make soup out of worry.
A little of this worry and a lot of that. Stir it all up. And turn up the heat.
Simmer. Simmer. Simmer.
It smells! It reeks! The stink of it clings to me and spreads its fumes everywhere.
Making that kind of soup is a waste of time. Time that could be better spent doing something worthwhile. And nobody wants to eat it anyway. And it’s certainly not as healthy as split peas.
Better to take that pot and dump it in the field.
Because, really, why should I spend time worrying about something I can’t change?
Or something that might happen (but probably won’t) that I can’t do anything about anyway?
Most of the things I’ve worried about never happened. Some did. And some things turned out worse than I could have imagined.
But I came through. Survived. Gained strength.
And why worry about something I can control? Why not just do whatever needs doing?
Worry paralyzes me and drains my strength.
And one more thing. Isn’t worry just pride in disguise? Thinking I can take control of something only God can control?
I can even make worry an idol.
Yet God is the God of the what was, what is, and what ifs.
So I’m going to give all the ingredients to Him and let Him make the soup. Minus the worry. Because I know it will be good for me and maybe even eventually smell good.
Serving up this post for Bonnie Gray’s Faith Barista Jam, “Letting Go of Worry.”
Also offering this post for Emily’s Imperfect Prose on Thursdays.
Amen.. why not give it all to the One true Master Chef!
He’s a much better cook that I am!
Very cool, Sandra. The God of what was, what is, and what ifs! I love that.
Have I ever told you what an encourager you are?
in the hush of the moon says
i love this concept, sandra, and how you worded it, beautifully. i love the candidness of gracee, and the red crock-pot. and i love how you made me realize the futility of grace. my grandmother lent me her book once–how to calm an anxious heart. i think i need to read it again. but it opened my eyes, as did your post. thank you so much for linking. i love it, here. xo
I’m pretty sure you meant the “futility of worry,” right?
Is that the Linda Dillow book, Calm my Anxious Heart? I just peeked into it on Amazon, and I think I should buy it. There’s a great recipe for contentment right there in the first chapter.
*Never allow yourself to complain about anything, even the weather.
*Never picture yourself in any other circumstances or someplace else.
*Never compare your lot with another’s.
*Never allow yourself to wish this or that had been otherwise.
*Never dwell on tomorrow–remember that [tomorrow] is God’s, not ours.
And this from a woman who served pygmies in Africa for 52 years!
Yes, I think I need this book.
I love you here.
I was talking to my dad the other night on the phone and I was telling him some things I was worrying about. He said, “Shut up and don’t worry about things that haven’t happened.”
Your post was beautiful as always.
I like your dad.
Your post and Corrie Ten Boom’s quote also reminded me of this quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson: “What torments of grief you endured, from evils that never arrived.”
I deal with chronic, sometimes severe, illness, and worry/fear is definitely present with physical pain. So it’s a battle to put my mind in the present and not think about yesterday or tomorrow or what might happen. That’s why I like Corrie’s words. I know she went to the pit of hell and back in her life, and still she learned the secret of trust in the One who held her life in His hands.
Thanks for sharing this today.
I love that quote.
I think that chronic illness and pain tends to wear one down so much that fatigue must be a constant companion. And everything definitely looks worse when we’re tired as well as in pain. Lifting you in prayer right now.
Faith Barista | Bonnie says
Hey, Sandra, you know what’s funny? 🙂 I felt like I was savoring a spoonful of yummy soup reading this post. There is so much I identify here, I just want to quote the whole post! LOL. btw, last week, I felt greatly encouraged by what you shared about words — and how they can last & be a legacy. This week, it’s more from Sandra! Thanks!
You are such a blessing, Bonnie!
Susan J. Reinhardt says
Hi Sandy –
Thank you. I can always find a good word here. I’ve been making a pot of worry soup today. I think I’ll throw it in the garbage right now. 🙂
Toss that soup, Susan! 🙂
Oh yes! We can’t go wrong giving him all the ingredients and letting Him make the soup. It will be good for us and it WILL eventually smell good…of that we can be sure!! Loved the analogy!
🙂 Thanks, Debbie. So nice to see you here.
the funny thing is that i made delicious soup for supper that all of my children turned their noses up at. 🙂 worry is something that i do almost without thinking, it’s a pattern for me. i’m trying to stop and fish the worry out of my soup so i can replace it with some truth and trust. thank you. 🙂
I like that imagery–fishing out the worry and stocking the pot with truth and trust. 🙂