I’m going to make this brief and hopefully concise, so expect very few puns but at least one picture!
The idea of “anxiety” has been on my heart and mind a lot recently, probably because I’m in Ave Maria, FL training to become a FOCUS missionary and it’s just a wee bit overwhelming. This might be digging too deeply into semantics, but I flippin’ love words, but what is the difference between anxiety and nerves?
If I’m anxious about something I feel bad because I know it’s root is a lack of trust in God but is feeling nervous the same? I don’t think it is. I think it depends on what the root is, why these emotions are happening, and how you react to them.
Does this make sense? Stay with me.
Being nervous probably has some environmental/survival benefits. I see a bear, that bear is close, the proximity of this bear is making me nervous, I should move.
I have a test tomorrow, I’m nervous about this test, I should study for that test, I should also pray for success on this test.
But, anxiety is more of a paralytic. At least in my life when I become anxious about something I don’t attempt to fix it, handle it, move away from it, I just allow myself to steep in it.
I have to fund raise my salary, I can’t fund raise my own salary, I can’t talk to people about that, I can’t talk to people, I’m going to sit in my room and avoid everything. Obviously this is just a random example that is not applicable to anyone in particular…
The good news (Gospel pun? I’m counting it) is that Christ has a message for us when it comes to anxiety. This verse has literally been stalking me while I’m here and that’s great.
Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you shall eat or what you shall drink, nor about your body, what you shall put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds the,. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add one cubit to his span of life? Matthew 6:25-28
I encourage you to keep reading chapter 6 because it’s awesome.
This verse isn’t just saying “don’t be anxious”, Christ is literally saying “I tell you”, this message comes from the mouth of He who loves us and He who made us. Aren’t we more important than birds? Yes, duh. Birds don’t have rational souls, birds are not made in the image and likeness of God, Jesus didn’t die on the cross and rise again for birds.
So instead of feeling guilty about being nervous and anxious, I’m going to remember that I’m more important than a bird and take those worries to Christ, cast them upon His altar and allow Him to help me. I encourage you to do the same.
If you have comments or questions about FOCUS (Fellowship of Catholic University Students) you can email me firstname.lastname@example.org