Maybe I’m a bit of a rebel. Or maybe it’s my struggle to connect to all holidays. I’m supposed to do something special for Heidi on Valentine’s Day. I’m supposed to be moved by the last days of Jesus during Easter. I supposed to send a special greeting to my Dad on Father’s Day. I’m supposed to be thankful for my country on July 4. I’m supposed to enter the Christmas spirit as December rolls in. It’s not that the holidays are bad. They are good reminders. It’s just that I’ve always struggled to enter into them. It feels forced rather than free, duty rather than delight.
Sadly, this is often my experience with Thanksgiving. I know that giving thanks is wonderful and cleansing, but the day rarely feels that way for me. My heart is just not in it. So here is a substitute idea that helps me, a very un-Thanksgiving topic…and yet maybe not.
Worry. I do a lot of it. I worry about money for next year’s bills. I worry about the hard conversation I have to have with a friend. I worry about how I will feel at an upcoming party. I worry about pulling off another day of school each morning. (Yes…it still happens after 20 years of teaching,) I worry about my daughters’ future. I worry about getting old. I worry about the future of the world. Stop. There it is. I just hit the problem. It’s all about the future…one over which I have little control.
But there is one thing I never worry about. Feeling God’s presence. It never crosses my mind. Because his presence is something I can only have right now, in this very moment. The second I become anxious over the unknowns of the future, I forfeit that experience. It’s an immovable line, a fixed point. I can only know the Father’s provision right now. I can only feel his love right now. I can only hear his voice right now. I can only be pulled into his presence right now. And when I stay there, worry vanishes. It just disappears. And in the beauty of that moment, I can not only relax. I can even start to give thanks.
“Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.” (Matthew 6:34)