Baseball used to be referred to as America’s ‘National Pastime’, but other things have clearly displaced it these days. The wildly popular pastime of worry, for instance, has more active participants than anything baseball could have ever claimed, even in its heyday. Worry has grown to epidemic proportions in America. It’s a serious national issue, and I’d be worried about it, except that if I do, then I’m thrown into a real conundrum. Adding my worry to the mix already out there only adds to the problem. That worries me. But if I don’t worry about it, it looks like I just don’t care, and that’s worrisome, too. Surely someone must have an answer.
Academia to the Rescue!
Perhaps the gurus of academia have something effective to offer. Surely the academic world holds a key to the way out of this hand-wringing, head-wagging quagmire. After all, those self-proclaimed bastions of elevated intellect are purported to be the ultimate resource for learning how to deal with the hopelessly complex issues facing us today, are they not?
Sure enough, our research has not left us disappointed. It appears that a large number of America’s colleges and universities have finally done something about anxiety among their students, and doubtlessly hope the rest of us will learn from it. The academics recognized that their students are worrying way too much, and it wasn’t surprising. After all, there are intolerable situations lurking everywhere that could totally disrupt the state of uninterrupted bliss they all deserve, and sabotage any hope of future mental and emotional wellbeing. What if they were to get caught outside their no-free-speech ‘safe zone’, and some cruel hate-monger just blurted out an unapproved word, or even a whole statement? No wonder these budding young geniuses worry. They could be subjected to anything—even moralizing comments connected to Christian world-views. They wouldn’t be able to ‘unhear’ it, and would thus be left helpless to escape the destructive influence. With problems like that invading their world, how would they ever pass their History of White Oppression course?
More Upside Down Solutions
But never fear, the all-knowing gurus of academe have stepped up to counter those awful anxieties that threaten the tender sensibilities of America’s best and brightest. Institutions of higher learning all over the country have decided that the thing to do is to provide the students with coloring books. What a relief! The worry epidemic has been dealt with. Now whenever a student is forced to hear or see something they don’t like, they can run back to the dorm and find consolation in their coloring book. That’ll fix it! It wasn’t really clear whether the crayons were included, or whether ‘medical’ marijuana was involved to help make the colors stand out, but one must assume that at least the crayons were provided; otherwise the coloring books would only have added to their stress.
Excuse the sarcasm, but that kind of stuff drives me nuts. Talk about some upside-down thinking! While, our nation is torn apart by racial insurrection, wallowing in moral depravity, and drowning in social chaos, a bunch of professors with egos even more bloated than their salaries are busy creating artificial reasons to be anxious. They manufacture ‘problems’ to worry about, and then use their class time to magnify them -serious problems like which toilet to choose, or which species of mammal most fits how I feel today, or how to survive contact with someone who actually believes the Bible is true.
If we could just get our thinking ‘right side up’ again, there are some things out there that are worthy of our concern. Our cities are being subjected to systematic, politically driven riots initiated by socialist-funded agitators and facilitated by roaming, itinerant rent-a-mobs. Lies and corruption have infiltrated the highest levels of leadership, and mainstream journalism has morphed into a propaganda machine. We accommodate people intent on killing us simply because according to their belief system, we are infidels, and as such, not fit to live. Our national obsession with sex fuels an ongoing genocide among unborn babies, and of those who manage to escape the abortion slaughter-houses, nearly 70% are born to unmarried parents with no stable family. Meanwhile, egocentric agenda-driven academics look for something else to be offended about, and then hand out coloring books to help soothe their anxious protégés.
Jesus’ Approach to Worry
Worry isn’t new. Both Matthew and Luke recorded the Son of God’s approach to the matter. Jesus included a couple of simple questions. “Which of you,” He asked, “can add one cubit to his stature by simply worrying?” (Matt. 6:27; Luke 12:25). The negative answer to that question begged this follow-up, “If worry can’t accomplish that insignificant thing, why would you think you could do anything else with it?” (Luke 12:26). Jesus’ discussion about worry culminates with this admonition—“Don’t”.
Life presents us with serious problems, none of which are ever solved by the anxiety we sacrifice on the altar we build to them. From Jesus’ point of view, instead of the impotent waste that worry represents, real problems and real needs should prompt one of two responses. For those things we can do nothing about, we pray and trust God. For those things we can do something about, we still pray, but then get off our backside and pay the price of doing whatever needs to be done about it. Either way, anxious thoughts may sometimes be unavoidable, but they’re never an excuse for doing nothing.
Solutions Needed – Not a Box of Crayons
The coloring book therapy would be laughable if it weren’t so tragic. Jesus may have felt anxiety about our sins, but He didn’t retire to Gethsemane to color a picture of the cross to relieve His stress. He dealt with anxiety by doing what it took to deal with the problem. When the problems we face demand solutions that only come with painful sacrifice, may God help us not to reach for a box of crayons!
© 2016 Gallagher’s Pen, Ronald L. Gallagher, Ed.S. All rights reserved.
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