From the desk of Celia Tucker, Academic Counselor:
Did you know that the word worry comes from an Old English word that means “to strangle”? When I read that new tidbit of information it made so much sense to me because I am a professional worrier. I think I do it better than anyone I know. For some reason I think that the more time I spend worrying about something the more I think that I actually can have something to do with how a particular situation turns out.
When talking to the seniors this week (tongue in cheek) about what I “just HAD” to do this summer I mentioned that I am forever missing the blessings that God showers on me because I worry. I am blinded by the fear of being in a new situation with new responsibilities and so focused on trying to do everything right and make exactly the right decision–that I totally miss out on the opportunities that surround me. I don’t live in the moment. I told our seniors that God has put us together in this particular spot at this particular time for a reason. We need to spend every day getting the most we can out of every moment. We need to live the abundant life that the Lord has promised.
Okay—so, do you know what I HAD to do this summer? I had to go to Estes Park, Colorado, to the YMCA of the Rockies, spend 4 days, and work with high school students. Okay, so I volunteered…The East West Ministries International Organization sends missionaries to the darkest parts of the world to share the Gospel and this group had never all come together at one time. This summer they planned a conference at the YMCA of the Rockies in Estes Park, Colorado, and our church and another Tyler church offered to provide care for their children– babies to high school. Well, because I love high school students, I HAD to be part of the high school team. Do you know what they MADE us do?..
Okay, we HAD to do archery—there are bears in the mountains and we had to protect these kids. (Well, I certainly did mean to hit the bulls eye and I did start feeling a little Robin Hoodish before they took my bow away from me.)
Then we HAD to take them hiking and for some reason their parents wanted us to bring back as many as we started with so as leaders we had to go to a “hikers huddle” and learn how to be a hiker’s guide. They MADE us take them by the most beautiful rushing river—right on the edge of the Rocky Mountain National Park—gorgeous scenery—photo opp extraordinaire—I mean really, who would MAKE us do something like that?…
Then we HAD to go to church and worship. Yes, there is this Chapel on the grounds and when we were sitting in the Chapel we weren’t looking at a picture of a snow capped mountain, we were looking at real snow-capped mountains—and singing praise music. And if that isn’t enough this Christian Illusionist was preaching that morning. When he asked for volunteers one of our girls went up on stage and he made this table levitate—I mean float right next to her. She was waving her arms all around trying to find strings and there were none and the whole time he is talking about Jesus.
I also HAD to do a high ropes course. I was dying. Talk about taking a risk and stepping right out of my comfort zone, but how many times do I have the opportunity to wear one of those super attractive little harnesses and climb the ladder into heaven? I am thinking I was even higher than heaven.
Then there was the white water rafting where it started lightning and when we asked our guide if it was safe to stay on the river she said, “sure—we are way below the tree line and you are in a giant rubber boat—no worries—now grab your paddle–Forward-1—“
Then came the horseback riding—my horse’s name was Otis—Otis and I bonded because he was responsible for keeping Cowgirl Celia from falling off that mountain ledge they called a riding trail—oh, my goodness….
Can you believe I HAD to do these things? We walked 22 miles over 4 days— Are you feeling sorry for me yet? Are you feeling my pain?
OF COURSE YOU AREN’T!
Do you ever do this, or am I the only one? You find yourself in the most glorious surroundings and situations and you fail to realize it and enjoy it because you are gripped with fear and worry about what is coming next?
Look around us. We are at Brook Hill. Look at the people that surround us. Look at the people that love us and support us and we get to be together for another whole year! Yes, it can seem a little overwhelming—a new year with new situations and many decisions to make—but that is what life is all about.
The only way I made it through any of those dreadful experiences I just described to you was because I had people cheering me on—“you can do it, Mrs. Celia—keep going”—what if I hadn’t stepped out of my comfort zone? Look what I would have missed out on.
Well, let me tell you—we are surrounded by cheerleaders at Brook Hill.
Worrying effects every part of the human body—it is terrible for us. God also tells us not to do it. It became clear to me that as a professional worrier, I am a professional sinner. Not good. The Lord tells me not to worry because He has things under control. The Lord has given us angels whose job is to surround us, to protect us, and to give us strength. I love the story in the Old Testament when Elisha opened his servant’s eyes so that he could see the angels that surrounded him? I bet we all have angel stories because the angels are truly at work.
This year I have decided that I am going to spend time thanking God for the blessings He has given me. I am going to trust Him to give me guidance with direction and decisions, and I am going to give my worry to the angels who are always on duty. I am going to delegate that worry responsibility.
Here’s to climbing that ladder into heaven…one rung at a time.