I’ve watched a lot of cross-country races in my day. All three of my kids participate in the sport, so I’ve become a big fan. One of my favorite races is the Steven Thompson Memorial Centipede. It’s unlike any other high school meet my kids’ teams attend because the athletes run as a single unit for the first two-thirds of the race. No joke: all seven members of the team hold a rope while they run.
For the final mile, they drop the rope and finish the race as individuals. But each athlete’s finishing time is driven, in large part, by the strength of their team whose collective pace positions them for the final mile. The fastest athletes finish slower than they do when they run alone and, often, the slower runners finish faster.
Do not be anxious.
Easy to say, isn’t it?
Harder to do.
I wouldn’t normally say I’m a person given to anxiety. I would, however, freely admit that I get overwhelmed. Perhaps they’re not entirely different.
God’s Word speaks about anxiety and how He wants us to handle it:
…do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. (Philippians 4:6 ESV)
The Greek word translated “anxious” is mérimna. It has some of the meanings we’d expect, such as worry, fear or care. But it also carries the connotations of being drawn in many directions, fracturing a person’s thinking into many parts.
Do you ever wonder if you spend too much time on a computer or device?
How much time is okay to spend on the computer… tablet… phone… TV?
I suspect all of us feel a certain degree of guilt about the number of hours spent face-to-screen instead of face-to-face. Especially if we have spouses or children. Me, too. My professional labor (and client correspondence) is accomplished on my computer. I keep my calendar, finances and recipes on my machine, as well. Then, there’s personal email (and its annoying cousin, “courtesy emails” from airlines, stores and the like), Facebook and Pinterest. Most of my screen time feels necessary to life in today’s culture.