Hand it over | Mark’s Remarks

It’s funny how we tend to reflect at this time of year, and I was thinking about all the people I know who struggle with anxiety and depression or claim to have anxiety.

Usually, my judgmental streak kicks in and I think ugly thoughts.

“If that person didn’t have to have their own way so much, they wouldn’t be anxious. If she wasn’t such a bossy control freak, she wouldn’t be so anxious when things didn’t go her way.  If that guy wasn’t so worried about controlling everybody, he wouldn’t be afraid to be around people.”

I would be a terrible counselor. I don’t think I’d be very compassionate.

But just as soon as I start being all judgy, I start to think about the qualities of these anxious, depressed control freaks, and suddenly I’m looking in a mirror.

I have anxiety. I get depressed. Usually over things I can’t control and over the fact I can’t know what’s going on all the time.

So, there you go. I tend to get aggravated at people who embody the same irritations I have.  

We all deal with the same stuff.

I’ve always wondered if the New Year could be a real, effective reboot. What if we could really look at all the things we struggle with, lay them out on the table, and hit some type of button that caused those hurdles to go away. Then, we start fresh for the New Year.

The thing is, we can do just exactly that. Sort of.  Maybe not as fast as pushing a button, but it’s doable.

When you type the words “give everything to God” or “turning everything over to God” in Google, there is a fascinating number of references to Bible verses. There are over 70 verses that talk about not worrying, not being anxious, casting your burdens on the Lord, and so on.

Look them up. Read them.  Really!  Do it now.

But it’s not easy, is it?  We aren’t patient. We like to fix it ourselves, or we think we have the right and efficient solution to a problem.

In some ways, I believe that people who fuss and wring their hands get almost addicted to that way of thinking. Some of them think that people don’t care enough if they aren’t fussing and running around worrying.

But I have to tell you that I do have actual proof that prayer works. 

I’ve actually gotten to the end of my rope with a myriad of problems, and when I had no other choice, I just hit my knees and prayed about it. There are times that I’ve done it and I’ve felt instantly at peace.  Still other times, I didn’t feel that much better, but I still moved forward with just a sliver of faith perhaps.

Almost none of it happens as quickly as I’d like, but much of it has worked its way out and followed a plan that was much better than my own.  

I guess what I’m trying to say is this: I haven’t always fully believed that prayer works, but I’ve forged on. It’s not that I don’t have faith or believe in the Bible, it’s just that I sometimes think I’ve been of the mindset that God didn’t have the time to mess with my little problems or issues.

That’s human, I guess.

But God wants us to bring everything to him.  Even the stuff we think is insignificant, or the stuff we almost feel guilty asking him about. 

I also believe that he doesn’t want us to wait until we have nowhere else to turn. I think he wants us to turn to him first, always.  

Maybe our New Year could start off with a good “hand off” to God.  

I think I’ll ask for a meeting and lay some things out on the table. I hear he’s available for just about any appointment time.

Happy New Year!

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Mark Tullis

Mark is a 25-year veteran teacher teaching in Columbia. Originally from Fairfield, Mark is married with four children. He enjoys reading, writing, and spending time with his family, and has been involved in various aspects of professional and community theater for many years and enjoys appearing in local productions. Mark has also written a "slice of life" style column for the Republic-Times since 2007.
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