Spinning My Wheels

“Worry weighs a person down; an encouraging word cheers a person up.”

Pr. 12:25 (NLT)

Have you ever seen a car peel out? If you have, then you know that while this is happening the car tires are still spinning rapidly, but the car isn’t travelling forward.

Some days I wake up with a clenched jaw, feeling terrible due to lack of sleep caused by worrying all night about something. Running the same problem through my head over and over is like a car constantly spinning its wheels without ever getting anywhere — a dead-end process that never provides a solution to the things that trouble us.

Are you a worrier? Do you spin your wheels thinking about something so much that it not only doesn’t solve the problem, but also makes you sick? The Proverbs below show us that worry is a like a weight in our hearts. It brings trouble, it can break our spirit, and it can ultimately be a trap for our soul:

Pr.1:33: “But all who listen to me will live in peace, untroubled by fear of harm.” (NLT)

Pr. 15:13: “A happy heart makes the face cheerful, but heartache crushes the spirit.” (NIV)

Pr. 29:25: “The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is safe.” (ESV)

In the New Testament, Jesus encourages us not to worry by pointing to several exquisite images in nature. He tells us, “Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns… See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.” (Mt. 6:26, 29, NIV)

Of course, it’s easy to say the birds and flowers don’t worry – they’re not human with all the problems of life. Even so, they serve as wonderful images to remind us that we can rely on the God who cared enough for us to send his son, Jesus, not only to save us but also to help us through the hard times we are bound to face. Matthew 11:28-30 tells us:

“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” (MSG)

My dad used to restore old cars as a hobby, and one of those cars was a 1965 GTO. I have to admit, I wasn’t much of a muscle car girl (1955 Chevrolet was more my style), but riding in the GTO was a lot of fun. One time, my dad and I peeled out on an old country road. It was scary and thrilling at the same time.

As I focus more on the birds, the lilies, and Jesus, I would like to let go of worry and to make the only time I spin my wheels a time when I’m in a car on an old country road with my dad.

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