1 Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.[a]
2 I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”
Several months ago we were in bed (it was about 12:30)… Trevor had fallen asleep, but I was about 8 months pregnant and had a lot of trouble getting comfortable enough to fall asleep. All of a sudden I heard, POP, POP, POP, POP! I reached over and clutched at Trevor. “Were those gunshots?!” I asked, although I already knew the answer. He sat up and we heard a few more. It was terrifying. I got out of bed and threw on a robe quickly praying that nobody had been killed. We carefully made our way around our house looking out the windows for any sign of activity. We were able to see some sort of commotion happening about 4 doors down. “Should we call the police?” I asked. “No, I’m sure Gene and Francis (our neighbors across the street) have already done it”, Trevor said. And he was right. Within minutes there were several police cars around. It started to feel kind of exciting instead of scary. Funny how that is. Later on a Police officer knocked on our door to talk to us and ask us if we had heard anything. He told us that there had been a domestic disturbance where two guys got in a fight. “Thank God they weren’t better shots, I guess” he said… One guy had been shot in the butt, but other than that nobody was hurt. I was glad nobody was killed, but is it horrible to say I hope that’s guys tukhus really hurt? What an idiot.
This got us talking very seriously about whether or not we should move. I love our house, but its on the cusp of a bad neighborhood. The problem is, if we decide to move to a nicer one, the prices of houses at least double if not triple what they currently are in the neighborhood we live in now. And we won’t really be getting a nicer house at all… we will simply be living in a neighborhood where poor people can’t afford to live and sadly, potentially bring the crime statistics with them. I’m not sure how I feel about this as a christian anyway… but I might write about that some other time.
Suffice it to say, that being our first taste of any kind of neighborhood danger (and the fact that the guys involved in the fight were evicted from the home that same week), we decided to not move for the time being. Plus, I love our house. Its tiny and cute and fits us just right. It has our creative fingerprints all over it.
Anyway, the point is all this got me thinking about the subject of worry.
Its funny how easily our moods can be shifted and changed. I’m generally a glass is half full kind of person, but I can sometimes struggle with worrying much more than I should.
There are the completely irrational fears… like when I’m on the toilet and all of a sudden start thinking about the (insanely stupid) people that buy baby alligators and the flush them down their toilets. And all of a sudden I think, what if they swim through the pipes and then come up and bite me? So I whip around and I’m all like, “not today small alligator… not today”.
Or having to talk to the mechanic when I get my oil changed (no, for the last time… I don’t want premium everything, even if you do shoot your eyebrows up at me like you can’t quite believe how stupid I am).
And even just things like… what if so and so doesn’t like me? Or, what if I never really get my pre-pregnancy body back?
Then, there are things that I truly get anxious about– like if I have to speak in front of a crowd, or our finances, or things much more scary like SIDS. I don’t even know how many times at night I’ve randomly had to sit up and turn on my computer screen super bright so I could lean over my baby and assure myself that yes, his chest is still gently rising and falling.
This is the, “I just spit out my passy” pucker.
There are so many things that are outside of my control. And to be honest, I’ve realized more and more that I don’t want it to all be in my control.
We had a concept that we talked about a lot in our church in England called “elevated sight”. And basically what it means is that our sight is limited… we are too close to the circumstances that we face, but God sees the whole picture. His sight is elevated and when as Christians we keep ourselves close to him we are able to see with his sight into our circumstances.
Here’s another example along the same lines. When I was 13 I loved the movie clueless. It would be several years before I would even get all the references and realize that, oh my gosh, these kids are supposed to be 15?!?! Anyway…. my point is that in the movie Cher (the main character) has this profound insight where she talks about a girl being like a monet. From a distance it looks good, but up close its a mess.
There are so many stupid worries we can choose to focus on… We all have them no matter what level of the economy or social stature we have arrived at. I want money to replace our older car and celebrities all want to be best friends with Elton John. We can’t have everything go exactly as planned, and that’s OK. Its how we confront those worries that counts. Many things that I would have changed in the moment have been just a masterpiece in the making.