As I admitted the other day, I am often tempted to fear for my children. But that’s only the beginning of my fears and anxieties. I’m what Ed Welch, author of Running Scared calls “an advanced worrier.” Unfortunately, worry is the only thing this average girl has ever been advanced in! It’s not something I’m proud of.
If a family member fails to call me back I worry that they’ve been in a car accident. If I hear sirens I think the church might be on fire (we live a block away). If an airplane flies overhead (like they do all day) I’m afraid the terrorists have come back to DC. Yep, I’m certifiable.
“Where worriers show their irrationality” Welch observes (and my husband often reminds me!):
“...is in their success rate: they are always wrong, at least in the specifics. They think the worst about tomorrow and it doesn’t happen. [But] if you worry about everything you will occasionally stumble upon an approximation to a real event. Suddenly you are a gifted prophet and it is your God-given duty to worry. You see the future, others are blind to it. You must sound the alarm for the people you love. Compassion demands that you worry.”
I’m compassionate. That’s what I am! But no, Dr. Welch then exposes me for who I really am—nothing better than a back-room fortune-teller:
“Worriers are certifiable false prophets. Their peer group is not so much those with psychiatric diagnoses as they are astrologers, tarot card readers, and Ouija board devotees. How much better off we would be if all our future predictions were declared illegal and we were forever banned from making any others.”
So, I’m declaring my fears illegal today. I’m putting away my crystal ball and turning in my “advanced worrier” certificate. I wasn’t very good at predicting the future anyways. To be honest, I was terrible. Maybe I’ll try writing fortune cookie inserts for a change. Just kidding!
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope” (Jeremiah 29:11, emphasis mine)