With New Beginnings Come New Worries
It’s good to have our choir back and also the full praise team. It was quite a powerful time of praise. As Jonathan shared, it’s the 2nd week of September and there’s kind of a lot of changes. The weather is ready for receiving fall, it’s almost like fall already. Just yesterday, two days ago, it was very hot, but all of a sudden this morning it’s kind of chilly and cold. This time of the year, everything begins anew. Your children go to school maybe in Toronto or abroad or somewhere else in Ontario. But also, your work begins, summer vacation is almost over. Now you’re back to work. As we start a new beginning, we always have this worry, how about our kids? Would they survive the first year? Will they do okay? Also, your job comes with a lot of stress. You have a lot of things to worry about, but Jesus said not to worry. That was Jesus’s word. So then don’t worry, that’s what Jesus said. If Jesus said, “don’t worry,” then don’t worry! It’s as simple as that. Don’t make it complicated. If Jesus said to you ‘not to worry’, then do not worry.
Worrying is Human
Not worrying is simple but very difficult because worry is almost ingrained within us. Worry is almost a part of who we are. It’s not that sometimes we worry, there’s not a single moment we don’t worry. We always constantly worry. We say that human beings are a social animal, but we are like worrying animals. This is our characteristic, I don’t know whether animals worry, dogs maybe they dream, but nonetheless, we are a worrying animal. Descartes, a famous philosopher said, “I think, therefore I am.” It’s almost like, “I worry, therefore I am” by seeing myself worrying, I know I exist and I’m still here. For a while, we forget to worry and all of a sudden you catch yourself not worrying and then, “oh my goodness, I’m not worrying” and you start worrying. I should worry about but how come I’m not worrying? You get very uneasy and then you start worrying. You worry if you don’t worry. It just strange, whether you worry, you worry and whether you don’t worry, you still worry. Worry is what we do. We don’t work hard, we worry hard. When the students have an exam, instead of studying they just sit down and worry about their exam. Then they do something else like surfing the web and they do all kinds of things except studying because they worry so much. Worrying is like working. We have this strange conversation mentality. We kind of have a superstition that if you worry a lot about something, then that won’t happen. We have this kind of strange compensation mentality that if you worry so much about it, then it won’t come to you. So almost like an evil God out there, if you worry and he sits and like a sacrifice you give out your worry to the evil God. If you don’t worry, he will bring you to bring disaster, but if you worry so much then it’s all right. Negative things, bad things will not happen.
Worrying is a Waste
So do not worry. However, it is too scary not to worry. We are too scared, not to worry. It’s almost like, “do not eat.” We protest saying that this is how I survive, worrying, but to be honest, we all know that worrying is eating us away. Worrying takes energy out of us, takes joy out of us. We may do that without choice, but we wish that we didn’t have to do it. We wish that we didn’t have to do it. We all know this, stress kills us, not saves us. Worrying is negative energy that makes us negative. Then Jesus said, “do not worry.” He said it because we can do it, if it is impossible, Jesus would not have said it. Jesus said do not worry, that means we cannot worry. It is possible for us not to worry. It is possible to live your life, not worrying. That’s why Jesus said to not worry. When I look at myself, I used to worry a lot but I don’t worry that much anymore, so it is possible not to worry. To help us not to worry. Jesus told us three things, I hope that this is helpful for all of us. First of all, worrying is useless. Jesus said, “Why do you worry when it is useless?” But it’s not just useless. It is harmful. Worrying is harmful. This is what He already said, “can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your life span?” Jesus is talking some sense into our heads. Worrying does not add a single hour to hour lifespan. It rather shortens all life. In a study of a half a million people, British people, they discovered that coffee is good and coffee makes you live longer, but I bet stress kills many people. It doesn’t do any good. So don’t do it. It is a waste of time, it is a waste of your energy. If you worry if you’re stressed out, what do you do first? You eat a lot and you drink and also you do a lot of shopping. You want to spend something to forget about your worries. So it is a waste of money, waste of your health, waste of your energy, waste of your time, it is a total waste. It’s not really good, it’s harmful to us. So why do we do it? Are we stupid? We’re not that stupid? Are We? Yeah, we’re stupid. We still do it right? So, we have to learn not to worry so that we can be a little bit smarter because it’s useless and harmful.
We are Not Alone
Secondly, Jesus said, “you’re not alone.” You’re not alone. There are people around you who will help you out. You have friends, your family, you have our church community. They’re all there to help, you don’t need to figure out your life all by yourself. You don’t have to solve every problem that you encounter all by yourself. You’re not an island! There are people around you who are willing to help. If I starve, would you just not do anything? Won’t you give me some money so that I can buy some food? Of course, there are people who help each other out. That’s how the world is made! That’s how life is made! That’s how we are supposed to live. That’s what global community’s all about. Unfortunately and sadly, the greed of people took away that kind of spirit. There are people who are hungry and we don’t help out much, but God created the world in such a way that we can help each other out.
Do Not Worry About Yourself
Jesus said, “look at the birds of the air. They neither sow nor reap, nor gather into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them.” What does that mean? What does this mean? Birds of the air, the lilies of the field. They don’t need to figure out their life on their own, but they’re living fine. Why? Because nature is made that way. The world is made that way. Our life is made that way! You’re not supposed to live alone, individualism is not a good idea. It is not, it is a fantasy. We can never live all by myself. We have to help each other. God created the world in such a way that we are taken care of. I realized that our life is pretty strong, resilient. Life has its own way to deal with itself. When you’re blocked, when you’re totally blocked, life somehow finds a way to survive. That’s hard. What I realized, it doesn’t matter where you are, when you are stuck, somehow, even though I cannot do anything, life has its own course to find its way to survive. So there’s nothing for you to worry about in Thailand, twelve boys and a coach were kind of captured in a cave. The cave looks very strange looking, very narrow and very shallow. Water has filled it and they couldn’t get out. For several days they couldn’t get out. And as soon as there’s a flood, they will drown to death.
We Come Together
The whole world watched the news. I watched the news every day praying for those 12 boys. I could see their faces, but they were locked up there and they were waiting for death. So I prayed every day, I don’t know them, but I prayed for them. The whole world, the scuba divers from every part of the world, came over and they tried to help out. A human victory! That’s what the world should be like! That’s how God made the world, to help each other, to be with each other. When you’re sad, when you’re depressed, you don’t need to solve your problem all by yourself. There are friends around you who are willing to give their hands as much as possible. So you are not alone. So don’t worry, when you cannot do it by yourself just to ask for help and then God will send help to all of us.
God Will Take Care of Us
God is very much a part of our life. God rules in our lives. Third, because there are people around you, don’t worry. You just need hope and faith. One boy said, from that experience, what I learned was that I need to be more patient. Yes, you need to be more patient in life, when you have problems, one day at a time. Don’t worry about tomorrow as tomorrow will take care of itself. One day at a time, that’s what Jesus said, and have full faith and hope. Yesterday morning I had a counselling session and at the end, I told them, have faith and hope, he’ll be alright. Don’t worry too much about your future. Life has its own power to survive and that’s what I believe. Life has its own power to survive. Even if you don’t have the solution, life has the solution because God is very much part of your life. Wait and see how life turns out. Don’t imagine the worst, always have hope and faith. Third, this is the truth that I realized and it’s a very important truth that I want all of you to apply to life. Where is your focus? If your focus is on helping others, then worries, no problem. Worries flee away. When you focus on the Kingdom and God’s righteousness, the worry, will not be a problem anymore. That’s how we human beings are created, but when we focus on myself, my own success, then worry will be the characteristic of your life.
Worry for Others
When you’re trying to help others, then you somehow don’t worry that much, but if you focus on what you shall eat, what you shall wear, then worries will always follow you. So day by day, live your lives. How can I help others? How can I serve God? If that is your focus and that’s what you want to do, then you will live a life without worries. It is wonderful to live without worries. It is terrible to live with worries all the time. So which one are you going to choose? Somehow life has his own way of taking care of worry. When you take care of others and when you take care of God’s work, then God will provide anything that you need. When I was a youth pastor, my pay was $300 per month. My rent was about $600 so I was short $300 every month just for rent and I still have to eat and all that. So we always borrowed money from the bank, but even then, I didn’t worry that much. God will take care of your needs. Just focus on God’s Kingdom and God’s righteousness. God will take care of your needs. You don’t need to worry that much about your needs because God will take care of it. Just do good things in life, help others and do a lot of good things and God will take care of your life and your life will be filled with joy, peace and happiness. Let us sing together.