I never thought about it much but now that I think back, anxiety has been an unsolicited life-long companion since my childhood although I did my best to pretend it never existed. Actually, I didn't know it was a visitor back then, but rather a permanent resident so the best I could do was learn to tolerate the day-to-day anguish with as much grace as I could muster. We seemed to be inseparable anyway. Do you know what I mean?
Anxiety has many frowning relatives and loves to have their company, so that I had to put up with such colorless characters as Inadequacy, Despair, Fear and Worry. I used to have recurrent dreams where Anxiety and Inadequacy especially seemed to take center stage. There were several scenarios yet all of them produced the same sensation: Sometimes I'd be preaching before a congregation I never had seen, however, I didn't have a Bible with me and couldn't remember the text I was to preach from. Sometimes I'd find myself in an unfamiliar park area I had never been to before where I was wearing only pyjamas, yet had to make my way past the police that surrounded the area to get back home. Sometimes I'd be in an unfamiliar High School writing a math exam having no idea how to answer the unintelligible equations that were staring me in the face. Sometimes I’d be involved in hockey (as a youth) but hadn’t brought the appropriate equipment so I'd have to sit on the sideline and just watch. When I used to have these dreams I could feel the tension go through my whole body, I’d sweat only to later realize it was just a dream, but a dream that revealed so much about my emotional/psychological makeup.
Don Miller, (a post-modern Christian writer) says he tends to get anxious about too many things… whether or not his ideas are right … whether or not people like him… whether he will get married or not …whether his future girl will leave him if he does marry… whether his car is fashionable enough, … and whether he sounds like an idiot when he speaks in public. He actually got me giggling as I often think the same things without really noticing how absurd these worries are. How about you? Do you pretend not to worry, but underneath suffer greatly sometimes?
© TR 2007