Of all the people who know me, no one would say I am afflicted with worryitis. They may say other things about me, which may or may not be true, but that's another story.
If you ask me, and nobody has, worry is just a waste of time that could be used more profitably. Every hour of worry takes away from an hour of happiness. There is absolutely no "rhyme or reason" to spend one moment worrying.
Actually, there is a little "rhyme," (it sounds more like rap than anything else), but I assure you there is absolutely no reason for it.
A friend has a cute motto he likes to call to mind; "Why worry when you can pray," which makes perfectly good sense. If we would spend time we would use to worry and pray, we would discover little to unduly concern us.
Very little in life causes me to agonize or be anxious. I have better use of my time than wasting it in such a useless employment carrying no benefits or retirement.
This has not always been the case with me. Once, and not too long ago, I worried about everything. You name it, and I've worried about. My worry list was longer than the list of promises of a politician running for re-election.
Then I worried about missing something I should be worrying about, which was my Waterloo, and you know what happens when you miss the loo.
This is not to say I don't have a worry in the world. There is the war in Iraq; the economy; and trying to remember what my wife asked me to bring home from the store tonight. If I'm not careful, I could easily slip back into those gala days filled with worry.
That was then, this is now. A few years back someone introduced me to a marvelous strategy dealing with worry. Since then, my worrying time has been cut to a bare minimum. Because I'm the kind of person I am, I want to pass this scheme along to my friends: both of you.
I call the plan, "The Wednesday Worry Club." I simply referred to it as the WWC.
Very simply, anything that comes my way in the category of worrying, is jotted down on a 3x5 card, which is then placed in a special box called, "The Wednesday Worry Club Box." The item on the card is forgotten as I drop it into the box. Every Wednesday I open up the box and go through the cards.
The cards are color-coded for convenience. Red cards are for serious items; green cards are for financial worries; blue cards are for items not needing immediate attention; and yellow cards are for issues with the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage (the bulk of cards in the box are yellow - but you didn't hear it from me).
The effect is simplifying my life and freeing up significant time previously occupied with worrying. I cannot tell you how this has enriched my life and I am anxious for you to experience the benefits of the WWC.
On Wednesday afternoon when I open the box, the cards fall into three categories.
One: Issues that are too late to do anything about. This is my favorite category. The theory being if you postpone anything long enough it will be too late to do anything about it. Many of the red cards fall into this area.
The interesting thing is, when the item is first put on the red card and placed in the box it seems to be extremely urgent, as though something needed to be done right away. However, placing it in the box and forgetting about it until Wednesday takes away the thorn of urgency.
Two: Issues that are no longer urgent, important, or needing any attention at all. This, too, is a favorite category. Too often a certain person in our house, (I'll mention no names), insists that a thing needs immediate attention. However, some things postponed long enough take care of themselves.
Most issues, if left alone, will work themselves out without any outside help. And I consider myself outside help. The further outside, the more comfortable I feel.
Three: The final category, issues that can be postponed until next week. Many of these are green cards. As I go through the cards, regardless of their color, I try to postpone as many as I can.
There is a finesse in this aspect of the WWC. It takes a long time to develop expertise in the area of postponement.
The key to all of this, of course, is to carry about on your person at all times enough colored cards. It is a sad day when I run out of cards, usually the yellow cards.
Then a thought emerged in the back recesses of my mind. How many trees have been used to produce all these 3x5 cards I've been using. Immediately, I brought out a fresh red card and made a notation. I cannot wait until Wednesday to find out how this works out.
Of course, there is a better way than the WWC. David, that marvelous Shepherd Psalmist of the Lord wrote, "Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths." (Proverbs 3:5-6 KJV.)
Instead of committing my anxious thoughts to cards, I could "Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass." (Psalms 37:5 KJV).
Recently, the WWC has given way to the WNPM (Wednesday Night Prayer Meeting).
Rev. James L. Snyder is an award winning author and popular columnist living in Ocala, FL with his wife Martha.