Since, I received my second shot I’m feeling less stressful and anxious.  I’m more settled and feeling like sooner than later I’ll be venturing out with a sense of confidence.  I started pondering the notion of anxiety and what impact it has in my being. I realized lots of my energy was being expended without much goodness being offered.  I found it interesting to learn anxiety derives its meaning from a Greek root word meaning “to press tight” or “to strangle.”  In the Latin form the meaning becomes even more narrow and constricting.  Anxiety is usually identified with discomfort. I’m pretty sure occasional anxiety is an expected part of life. One might feel anxious when faced with a problem at work, before making an important decision or even before a vaccination shot. But I also know some experience anxiety, which involves more than temporary worry or fear. Anxiety disorders are real and can get worse over time, symptoms can interfere with daily activities. According to the NHI, “There are several types of anxiety disorders, including generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and various phobia-related disorders.”   “Anxiety” as Paul Tillich writes in Courage to Be, “is the awareness of unsolved conflicts…conflicts between unconscious drives and repressive norms…conflicts between imaginary worlds and the experience of the real world…conflicts between the desire to be accepted by other people and the experience of being rejected.  He goes on to say, “We are confronted by fear and anxiety that appear all around us in strange disguises. Who among us does not experience the depression and bewilderment of crippling fear?  Haunted by the possibility of bad health, troubled by the fact that days and years pass so quickly by.  We become so concerned we stumble through life with feelings of insecurity, feeling a lack of self-confidence, and a sense of impending failure.” Anxiety encourages one to wander without direction and drift aimlessly. If anxiety has become more significant in your daily life than you would like, we encourage you to reach out for help. There are useful resources available.

Scripture Reading: Matthew 6:25-27
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life?”

Reflection Questions:
What creates anxiety for you?
What do you do to lessen the impact of anxiety in your life?
Who needs you to be a helpful presence in their life?

Prayer: Holy God, wandering aimlessly is not how I want to live my life.  Let me take your hand and be led on an intentional path. Be my strength so I can be a helpful presence to others.  Amen.