Tuesday, October 1, 2013

A ball of worry

What does a furloughed federal employee do on the first day of a government shutdown?  Well, he writes a blog post, of course.


My wife was talking to a friend awhile back.  It was a friend she sees somewhat infrequently, and the friend said, “Cheryl, as I recall, you tend to run a little anxious.”

She got that right.  Cheryl and I both run a little anxious.

It reminded me of an old friend I talked to awhile back.  He told me that he felt his anxiety actually helped him do his job.  Because he tended to get anxious and stressed, he could anticipate problems before they came up.  His anxiety was good for business, but bad for him.


I have this theory now, based on my 4+ decades as a worrier.  My theory is … that each one of us carries a worry ball.  Strangely enough, I picture mine as a glowing yellow bowling ball that becomes bigger or smaller—depending on my life circumstances. 

And, with this ball in my hands, I can pray and read the Bible and seek out a little bit of counseling.  These things help, making the ball feel smaller—even marble-sized at times—but the dang thing rarely goes away.  Only, every once in a while, do I set the ball down … like on a day when I’m sitting on the beach with my toes in the warm sand and waiting for someone to bring me a sandwich.  For a few minutes the ball disappears, and I wish I could stay right there forever.

So about this government shutdown?  Well, as usual, I’m worried.  But the ball feels manageable.  Like a 14-pounder with comfortable finger and thumb holes.  I think I can carry it for a little while longer.


Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. Proverbs 3:5


  1. Thank you so much for this inspirational post.

  2. There is a huge difference between worry on its own and worry undergirded by trust. I had forgotten you are a "government employee."

    Your image reminds me of another friend's image of a "dread bucket," which he and I relate to with our writing assignments. The dread is a natural part of the process and the bucket has to fill up to a certain point to make you finally stop putting it off and start writing.

    Praying for peace in this strange time for you.

  3. Worry undergirded by trust ... that's a great perspective. Thanks, Sheila ... and, yes, this is a strange time. :)