--Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? (Matthew 6:27)
I thought I’d share with you some excerpts from a 2006 article in Time magazine entitled “How Americans are Living Dangerously.” It contrasts our ability to worry about the things that really matter and our obsession with possible disasters that are, mathematically speaking, unlikely:
Shadowed by peril as we are, you would think we'd get pretty good at distinguishing the risks likeliest to do us in from the ones that are statistical long shots. But you would be wrong. We agonize over avian flu…but have to be cajoled into getting vaccinated for the common flu, which contributes to the deaths of 36,000 Americans each year. We wring our hands over the mad cow pathogen that might be (but almost certainly isn't) in our hamburger and worry far less about the cholesterol that contributes to the heart disease that kills 700,000 of us annually.
We pride ourselves on being the only species that understands the concept of risk, yet we have a confounding habit of worrying about mere possibilities while ignoring probabilities, building barricades against perceived dangers while leaving ourselves exposed to real ones…

… We put filters on faucets, install air ionizers in our homes, and lather ourselves with antibacterial soap. At the same time, 20 percent of all adults still smoke; nearly 20 percent of drivers and more than 30 percent of backseat passengers don't use seatbelts; and two-thirds of us are overweight or obese.

Kind of puts things in perspective, doesn’t it? Most of the things we worry about aren’t going to come true. It’s like we’re worrying for the sake of worrying. Why else would we worry about the things that are unlikely and ignore the things we can control?

Either way, Jesus’ response to worry is the same. In the end it doesn’t help all that much. The act of worry itself doesn’t accomplish anything. Instead, he encourages us to walk in faith, trusting the God who cares for the flowers and the birds and us, his children.

So what have you been worrying about this morning? And what would you like to do instead of worry about it?
Robert Lee