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What you WANT might drive you to WORRY!
(The case for the simple life!)

Did you know that the more possessions or promotions we have in life, the more we also have opportunity to worry?  That doesn't mean we HAVE to worry, simply that there is greater occasion to.

This might just be the case for "the simple life"! 

Today at Celebration I am teaching the final message in the "Dealing with Anxiety God's Way" series and one thing I'm going to point out is that many times people worry over their stuff that they  have been blessed with.

Ecclesiastes 5:12 says, “The sleep of the laborer is sweet, but the abundance of a rich man provides him no rest.” (emphasis mine)

We think that the more we have, the more secure we will feel, but the opposite is often true.

My husband and I were listening to one of our heroes, Pastor Tommy Barnett, as he was teaching a session for pastors.  He mentioned something about people thinking it must be easy to be Tommy Barnett. After all he pastors Phoenix First AG, an amazing mega church with a huge staff, amazing facilities and much more.  He also has a ton of pressure!  He said something to effect that most pastors weren't going to feel sorry for him when he shared this.  But, to give them some perspective of the pressure he is under daily, he shared that before he goes to bed at night, he knows he has to personally raise something like $60,000 A DAY just to keep the church going!  Now, that's PRESSURE!    How many of us can fathom being personally responsible for raising that much money a DAY??!

Every blessing we receive also has the ability to bring pressure.

Yesterday I was thinking about the pressure of being a homeowner.  When my husband and I lived in an apartment we didn't so much as worry about having to cut the grass or even pay the water bill!  It was all included.  I told Dustin a few days ago that if I had it to do over again I wouldn't own a home.  At times the pressure is just unbelievable although I try very hard not to complain and to look for every blessing possible.  It is not impossible to see blessings in this regard but I will say it is much harder since the housing market crash.  For all that the responsibility of ownership we used to be able to look to the blessing of the equity in our home which is now non-existent, like millions of others in the same boat. Why do I bring this up?  Well, I think of all the people who think, "If I could just own a home..."  I don't think a lot of them realize the pressure involved.

While I was riding my bike yesterday my thoughts wandered to what was once something very special to me.  If you look in the top drawer of my jewelry box where I actually keep what few "real" pieces of jewelry I have, there's also one other little keepsake there.  It's the key ring and remote car lock for my Mustang.   I blogged extensively about this in the past but basically my dream car, "Joy Gratefulness Shrodes" was totaled on June 3, 2007.   We have  yet to replace her, so I do not personally own a car.  If you want to know why the Stang meant so much, here you go.  She's the only car I've ever personally had, and was a reward from my husband for 18 years of sacrifice.  She was more than a car to me -- she symbolized something special, sort of like a wedding ring.  I still miss that particular car so much, however, I am not sure if I want it to be replaced.  First of all  I don't think the car can be truly replaced.  I still can't go by Master Collision without wincing.  Second, I might worry about losing a Joy II if I had one.  Losing Joy I was so bad I never want to experience a repeat.  It's probably a good thing I am still car-less.  I look at the blessings of being without a car...like the fact that I don't need to worry about a car payment or the price of gas.  I do have to concern myself with getting rides to places but I was used to that for 18 years and just quickly went back to doing that as soon as the Mustang was gone.  

Whatever you are craving so badly (or think you are craving) just keep in mind that blessings also bring pressure whether you are talking about a promotion at work, a new house, a new car, or even more money! 

A good prayer to pray is, "Lord, give me strength and wisdom to handle the increase you bring my way."  Only with God's direction and empowerment are men and women truly able to handle the  responsibility and blessing that God gives them.

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