My cousin, Allie, was recently joking that in college, a typical weekend evening for me looked something like this:
I'd go to one person's room and say: Jordan, can you paint my nails?
Then I'd go to another room and say: Allyson, can you pluck my eyebrows?
And then another one and say: Jamie, can you do my eyeliner?
...And down the hall I went until I was all done up and ready to go.
These skills aren't my strong suit and I was recently joking with someone about it and they said: Maybe you're so bad at painting your nails because you always hurry...
Now, had she seen me do art, ever, she might not be so inclined to give me the benefit of the doubt.
However, it got me thinking about hurrying. I love getting stuff done, producing results and checking things off. It's so empowering. I'm a goal-oriented, end-results, check, check, check kind of person.
But, I tend to forget that it's not always the end result that matters. Sometimes it's about the process along the way. The cake you make is beautiful, but what about the way you learn to mix ingredients, enjoy the kitchen and laugh at your mistakes before you put it in the oven?
About two years ago I was in stuck in a rut of worrying and during the last few years, I've worked to break free from the pattern. And golly, it's so much more peaceful living with less worry. However, I've noticed that I start to worry more when I feel stuck. When I feel like I can't get to Z as quickly or as easily as I want to. When I feel frozen at M. Or even A. I worry, because I want to hurry.
But sometimes, I think it's important to remember that even though we'd really like to be on the other side of our worry, sitting at Z with a glass of wine and a carefree day, we can learn so much along the way.
I recently heard that worry is a smaller way of saying we don't know if God will come through for us. It's our way of saying: listen here, just in case you don't have this one handled, I do. I'm going to micromanage and control and make plans, just to ensure everything is going to work out just how I'd like it to.
Wheeoo. Isn't that the truth?
The hardest part of all is that we often worry about the things we care about the most, which makes it that much more challenging to loosen our grip.
But today, I decided I'm throwing my hands up. There are plenty of things for me to worry about, because life can be hard and there is real hurt and pain on this earth. But by sitting in worry, we can't solve anything. We can't make the people we love hurt less. We can't get to our futures faster. We can't gain even an ounce of control.
The best we can do is love those around us, meet each other where we are, give ourselves grace, and ask ourselves every day what we can learn from the process. And, of course, pray like crazy.
And who knows, maybe by the time you get where you want to be, you'll have learned more than you ever thought possible. In fact, you might even be able to paint your own nails.
And that, my friend, is a tricky.