Worzel's World - A minor concern
Those amongst us who are tormented by fears or life limiting anxiety are usually encouraged to seek medical advice. This does not mean that there are not very real causes for concern. If you are never depressed you are probably not seeing things clearly and are living in denial of a stark reality. When he looked over Jerusalem, Jesus wept. And why wouldn‘t he?
There was much to be concerned about and since then it’s hard to see any improvement. Global warming, pollution, the threat of terrorism on one side and the threat of tyrannical government and a surveillance state on the other. There is the possibility, or as some insist, the inevitability, of a pandemic like the Spanish flu. Lets not forget all the biblically predicted plagues and pestilences. Planet X could mess up our orbit, a monster asteroid could hit the earth. Volcanoes, earthquakes, and nuclear holocaust are all feasible possibilities, as is global overpopulation leading to the starvation of millions which some would assert is already happening.
These are just the big ones. Every individual has their own set of private concerns: Will I be made redundant, can I afford the mortgage, will the cancer test be positive? I could go on but the list is potentially endless, such is the capacity for human beings to worry. Yet there is a great gulf between what is of concern and what really matters, between what we can fix and what we cannot. Merely being concerned is seldom enough to provoke action. There is no evidence at any time during the course of human history that worrying ever improved anything.
In the end human beings serve what they love. Concern is not love for there is no passion in it. People love many things – wealth, status, fame, sex, drugs, and rock n roll, literature, religion, philosophy. All of these evoke passion in those who love them. I used to love sport and spent much of my time participating in it. These days we are no longer lovers but remain good friends. I still spend a little time maintaining the relationship. There are those who would say that these things are silly things to love and we should love better things than these and they may well be right. Yet in the course of my life I have loved many silly things.
Should I have loved these things less and loved truth, justice, honour integrity God and people more? Perhaps this is true for all of us but I refuse to harbour regret. There is an old adage, ‘save a match and buy a forest’. As one who has saved some matches and bought a forest I can vouch for the validity of the proverb, yet the world is not discernibly better for it.
Yes there are many concerns and it would appear that there are vastly more today than there were in our parents and grandparents time. We could spend our lives fretting about such and many do. As the numbers diagnosed with depression rise so prescriptions for psych meds increases and the suicide rate mushrooms. Others direct their fears into campaigning to change a stubborn world. Some just moan and complain asking why doesn’t the government, the church, scientists, doctors, Mum, Dad, Uncle Jim or God do something about it?
The presumption is that something can be done, yet like so many presumptions this too may not be true. The concerns persist. Some take the approach that by contributing good to the world or to the community they are at least doing their bit. They vaguely subscribe to the law of karma, the biblical principle of ‘as ye sow, so shall ye reap’, or simply ‘what goes around comes around’. This thinking seems to be predicated on the idea of a universal accountant who must somehow balance the books. The good will cancel out the bad resulting in a carefree utopia if not necessarily of peace love and understanding then at least of a rational working system. Alas it has never been so and can never be. The ledger if properly kept can never be balanced. We came into this world naked and alone and we leave in similar fashion. Whatever we consume, use, love, hate, enjoy, and endure in the intervening period is not really ours.
Life no matter how good or bad we find it and regardless of our joy and sorrow our fear and concerns, is really one big free lunch. Life is a free gift which we didn’t ask for, didn’t earn and probably don’t deserve. No matter how much we contribute we can only give from what we have already received and no matter how saintly and selfless no one can ever give an amount equal too or more than what they have taken.
So what should we do? Firstly we must learn to differentiate between what is of concern and what really matters. Secondly we must be humble enough to admit that we can’t do much. Humans cannot save the world. They can’t even save themselves. Anyone who thinks we have that capacity is fooling themselves and destined for great disappointment. This too is a minor concern.
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There is no evidence at any time during the course of human history that worrying ever improved anything.