Weekly Thought – November 29, 2022
Fred mastered the art of “one liners,” as he called them. He learned to encapsulate his ideas into nuggets through the telegram method: as much meaning in as few words. This week is “vintage Fred” from the 1950s or 1960s. Until his death in 2007 he lived by these three words.
Wait To Worry
Worry – that nagging headache of the soul. I was once a full time worrier, but I resigned my membership in the club along about the 1940s. It took some doing, for one in the club it is hard to get out. Maybe my experience will be helpful to you.
I wasn’t a part-time worrier who took his worries to bed. No, sir, I was afraid of going to sleep which is a sure fire way for a genuine worrier to lose his self-respect. I would instead sit up with a pot of coffee… rocking, drinking coffee, and worrying. When I finally went to bed I didn’t sleep – I just tossed and perked.
I decided to stop worrying. After two years of thought and practice I made it. Here is what I found out: Most of my worry came before I had any facts. After I got the facts I was so busy working out the answer I didn’t take the time to worry.
Therefore, I wrote on the inside of my skull, “Wait to Worry.”
Every time I started to worry I asked myself if I had the facts. If I didn’t I told myself, “Wait to worry.” Gradually, the habit started to form and after two or three years worrying was conquered. In the process I learned some interesting statistics about the subject. For example, a study I saw showed 40% of what people worry about has already passed: 30% will never happen: 22% when it happens will be so minor it wouldn’t be worth the worry and only 8% will be real. It hit me I was spending time on something that was 92% inefficient and ineffective.
Another intriguing fact about worry… the things we worry about today are the things we generally laugh about tomorrow. Think about family reunions… what do we laugh about the loudest? Usually things that weren’t funny at all when they occurred. Our children learned when things got tense to ask, “Dad, is this something we are going to laugh about?” Most of the time they were, so we laughed then – why put off the opportunity for some good fun?
My favorite example comes from our son Fred. When he was young he wasn’t strong on washing his hands. One time before dinner he came in from playing outside, dunked his hands in the sink, and planted them on one of Mary Alice’s clean white towels. As you can imagine, she took a very dim view of the imprint! I thought it would be funny to hide the towel. Years later I had it framed. When I presented it to her the tears started flowing, “Aren’t they sweet? Aren’t they sweet?”
What was a source of “irritation,” became a moment of great joy.
This week carefully consider: 1) How do I handle worry? 2) Would reminding myself to “wait to worry” change how I deal with stress? 3)Who could benefit from this “vintage Fred?”
Words of Wisdom: “Wait to Worry.”
Wisdom from the Word: “Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat, or about your body, what you will wear.” (Luke 12:22 NET Bible)