A Dear God letter

Nancy and I took a drive Sunday afternoon. In the middle of traffic on I-75, I was telling her about my current lack of emotional margin. A number of projects and issues are running in the background of my heart these days. Personal, family, work, connections. I can tell when this is happening by a simple test: how frustrating are little inconveniences?

After a bit, we focused on getting through unfamiliar streets. I thought through the projects, weighing them one by one to see what should be eliminated. None of them. And I suddenly realized that this isn’t a workload issue. This is a worryload issue. It’s not the tasks that fill my heart, it’s the implications. Or better, it’s my concern about the implications.

I smiled.

Not four hours before, we had been listening to a sermon pointing to a text about worry.

Paul is writing to a group of people he loves deeply. “Don’t worry about anything,” he tells them. But he doesn’t stop there. Which is good. Because every time someone tells me to stop worrying, I argue. Every time someone says, “It will be okay,” I argue.

Paul says, “Don’t worry about anything. Or everything. Instead, make your requests known to God.”

Later, on my own, while not driving, I took a sheet of paper. “Dear God,” I wrote. “Here’s the list of what is eating away at my heart. Promise not to show anyone?” And I wrote.

On paper in front of me, the fears were a little more real, a little more clear, a little less abstract. There was a little more peace. It could be a mind game. But Paul’s words suggest something else is happening.

“And the peace of God, which makes no sense, will guard your heart and mind in Christ Jesus.”

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About Jon Swanson

Social media chaplain. Author of "Lent For Non-Lent People" and "A Great Work: A Conversation With Nehemiah For People (Who Want To Be) Doing Great Works." Writer of 300wordsaday.com. I help people understand. Understand some of the Bible. Understand what Lent can be about. Understand what it means to follow.

5 thoughts on “A Dear God letter

  1. I like that the Holy Spirit made you aware, at some point, when you have underlying issues that are causing surface manifestations.
    He is a loving councillor!

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  2. I love the picture “running in the background” mine were humming at 4:00 am this morning. Really glad I read this, just wish I would have seen it at 4. 😉 Thanks Jon

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