DayBreaks for 10/20/05: Would It Help?
When Gary Power’s U2 spy plane was shot down in 1960, I was about 2 months shy of being eight years old. But I remember it well as it was perhaps the height of the Cold War and we would practice “duck and cover” in the school classroom in case of nuclear attack. Of course, I was way too young to realize how futile such an action would be…and we lived on the Great Plains in the heart of Iowa – not a prime target for nuclear annihilation anyway. But I was a worrier as a kid (and if I am to be honest with you, I have been most of my adult life, too.) When I went to spend the night with a city cousin, I was awake and crying one night because I believed we’d all be blown up before the next morning. My aunt came in and comforted me. You see, I didn’t want to get blown up, and if it was to happen, I wanted to be with my folks when it happened.
And so it was that when the movie, Bridge of Spies came out this past Friday, I had to go see it. It features Tom Hanks in the lead role, but it is about a man named James Donovan who negotiated for the release of Gary Powers and an American student for a convicted Russian spy (whom Donovan had represented as the lead defense attorney). It is based on a true story and I must say, it is a masterfully done movie – if you like history at all, you’ll find it fascinating.
In the movie, the convicted spy (Rudolf Abel, played to fabulous effect by actor Mark Rylance), seems to never worry about a thing. Over and over again, Tom Hank’s character asks Abel if he is worried…and time after time is met with the simple, honest yet thought-provoking reply, “Would it help?” Rylance’s character seems to never get flustered or worried about anything!
Point well taken, isn’t it? Did my worrying about nuclear annihilation have anything to do with it not happening? No. Do my worries about finances or health or the health and well-being of my loved ones make any of those things one bit more secure or healthy? No.
Isn’t that the point Jesus made in his great sermon on the mountainside? Matthew 6:25-34 (NLT) – That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith? So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.
I’m trying something new – and you may want to join me. When I’m tempted to worry about something, I’m going to ask myself, “Would it help?”
I already know the answer to that question. So, instead of worry, I’m just going to try to leave it in God’s hands through prayer. I think life will be much more pleasant and praise-filled if I worry less. My guess is yours will be, too.
PRAYER: God, You know what a worrier I have been throughout my life. Help me not to worry, but to remember this teaching of Jesus and be at peace in You! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Copyright by 2015 Galen C. Dalrymple. ><}}}”>