By: L.A. Kohl
Nov. 21, 2004(published in the Wednesday, Dec. 22 '05, edition of the “Bull’s Eye”, Vol. 1, No. 9)
My husband will soon be leaving on his sixth trip out of the country – his fourth to the country of India. He asked me, after hearing a family member voice some concerns, how I was feeling about him leaving this time. You know...things like terrorists (he’ll be near the Afghanistan border) and being in a country that doesn’t allow missionaries...aren’t those things to worry about?
I thought I’d write out my “philosophy” on that whole worry thing, so that when the time comes and he’s actually gone, I can look back and take my own advice!
I had to answer him with this question that I’ve often asked myself over the years...at what point should I start worrying? If I thought about it very much, I could worry all the time. I have a daughter who drives off into the world every day. I have another daughter with her learner’s permit, who’s just entering that whole dangerous world of driving. My husband leaves home daily to go to various job sites. He enjoys hunting and owns several guns. We own a 4-wheeler; they’re well-known for causing accidents, sometimes even fatal ones. I have a toddler son who is notorious for getting into trouble and doing things that are potentially dangerous. I could go on and on, and so could you. We all know this world is not a safe place.
So, I had to ask – do I start worrying when he gets on a plane to go to India, but not worry about him when he gets in his dinky pickup and drives 70 MPH down a highway, with other people driving even faster and only separated from him by a few feet and a yellow line? Do I worry about him being in a foreign country, but not worry about him being in the county building (which he often frequents?) Do you think people in Okalahoma City worried that morning a few years ago when their loved ones went off to the federal building? We have no guarantees in this life...I could beg my husband not to go to India because I think it’s not safe, but then he could be fatally injured in a car accident a few miles from home. I have to believe that there is a time and a season for everything – a time to live, and a time to die – and trust that when that “time to die” part of life arrives, my family, friends, and my faith will get me through it. Until then, all the worrying I might do is a waste of precious time. As the sign said at one of our local churches recently, “Worry is a waste of imagination."
The Bible is full of wisdom and advice, but one of my very favorite tidbits has always been this little portion of Matthew 6:34 (RSV) “Let the day’s own trouble be sufficient for the day.” It’s kind of like that old saying, “Don’t borrow trouble.” With that, I’ll conclude this little pep talk, not just for you, but for myself, and send my husband off to the other side of the world in God’s hands.