Wednesday, June 6, 2012

What, Me Worry?

"Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow,
for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day
                                                     has enough trouble of its own."
                                                                                              Matthew 6:34
I have always enjoyed reading the so-called comic strips in the newspapers. Today my first check of the paper was for "Pickles" (A surprisingly accurate view of people my age), "Beetle Bailey", and  "Mallard Fillmore" (which takes a look at current events and politics). Unfortunately, a lot of the ones I used to read are long gone. Orphan Annie. The Katzenjammer Kids. Rex Riley. And I suppose Al Capps look at life in the hill country of Dogpatch USA in "Li'l Abner".

Some people might say my only interest in the strip would be Daisy Mae who always had her heart set on catching Abner. She was a bit more attractive than
Sadie Hawkins whose father promoted  a new program (Sadie Hawkins Day) that would allow her to catch a man when not one man in Dogpatch seemed interested in her. A pity there was no interest in Sadie - she was a charmer. After all, it's not looks that count, it's what's in the heart that matters

However, my thought today centers on another Al Capp Dogpatch character who went by the name: Joe Btfsplk. Try that name out for yourself. Denis Kitchen described it as sounding like a 'raspberry' or a 'Bronx cheer'.  Joe was a real character and still seems to be among us today.

Seems as though I have met a lot of "Joes" as I've travelled through life. Maybe I've been a little like him at times myself. A  worrier. Someone whose life seemed jinxed. No matter what happened in life something bad was going to happen. That's why Joe is always shown with a gray cloud over his head.
I remember one town we lived in that was so frustrating I felt as though a gray cloud was always over our heads. I kept worrying about what bad thing would happen next.

Some people describe it as Murphy's law: "If anything can fail or go wrong, it will" Nothing will change the situation. I remember a time when I heard rumors that there were to be some major personnel changes where I worked. I worried about it - worried enough that I finally quit so I wouldn't be fired. I worried about potentially dangerous weather fronts. I worried about health - was I going to be laid low with some dread disease. I worried about strange noises from under the hood of the car. Have you ever gone through life feeling like everything is getting worse and you don't know what to do?

I find a lot of comfort in what Jesus said. A person finds strength through faith. Sure, like everyone else, I have my dark days. I think about people I know who are going through challenging times. But I try my best to convey that God knows what we face and wants to give us strength to contend with today's challenge. It's hard to smile when some things seem to go wrong. But faith fills us with courage. Faith gives us peace in the midst of a life storm. Faith gives us hope when the road ahead seems rough. What more could I ask of life?

Give me strength when I am weak;
Give me courage when I am afraid;
Give me hope when I am unsure;
And give me faith when I'm filled with doubt.
Through the love of Jesus