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New Blog Location!

Greetings all you cool cats!

I just wanted to send a quick message to let you know that I have moved my blog to Wordpress. If you have deeply seated disagreements with this, I hope you can one day forgive me. 

If you're interested in keeping up with my writings, the new address is:

http://isimkins.wordpress.com

Thanks so much, all! 

Osama

Sunday, May 1st - President Obama announces to the world that Osama bin Laden is dead. The following is a fascinating snapshot my Facebook newsfeed during the time of this announcement. I very much welcome your thoughts and comments.
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So death is supposed to be sad, not this one! Bin Laden, we got you!

Osama is dead, wonder what will happen next?

America, F*** YEAH! FREEDOM IS THE ONLY WAY YEAH!

R.I.P... NOT! About time... :)

this night is killing me. why, why, why, why are we celebrating a system that is built on killing and destroying and lying and hurting?

may1st is now a holiday- osama bin ladens death.

now who will deliver presents on christmas eve?

Team America!

This is exactly why our militay was put into action 10 years ago....without the war on terror this would never have been a possibility...just wanted to reiterate the thanks to our MILITARY!!!!

Great day in American history!

saddens me to read about all of this violent chaos happening globally :( sigh...

The fact that some people don't care that Osama Bin Laden is dead disgusts me. It's not about the war or stopping it...its about the fact that he killed so many and this is justice. People honestly disgust me.

has to think of a new nickname... Osama Jim Laden is out.

wwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwhat now Osama?

The US has Osama's body, I hear we are gonna draw and quarter and send it to the four corners of our empire!

My Facebook feed consists of Osama Bin Laden and one person mowing their lawn at 10pm.

I'm glad Osama got what was coming to him, but I'm just curious to see what kind of retaliation the radicals are going to perform.

HOPEFULLY THE GAS WILL GO DOWN IN PRICE NOW! LOL BIN LADEN IS DEAD.

cool now we can get better healthcare more jobs and flying cars right?....Right?

Totally have chills right now:) so proud of those serving our country:)

Wait, you mean we didn't get Osama during Operation Iraqi Freedom? It only took us a decade to get the f***er.

lol facebook status up 1000% in patriotism in the past 10 minutes... Osama Bin Killed ;)

Well Bin Laden, I'll see you in hell

Never been so happy to hear someone was killed!

Bin Laden's death won't change a damn thing. Sorry.

Hell yes!!! Bin Laden is finally where he belongs!!!

Would have loved to have been a fly on the wall when the President received that phone call.

its been 10 minutes n there r still less posts on bin ladens death than when michael jackson died or the rev.

What a nice touch to my lazy Sunday

Wow I thought the blackhawks made Facebook blow up....

justice is best served cold. hell yeah.

‎10 years ago my dad woke me up and told me to come watch the t.v., I just called him in Iraq to turn on is. what an iconic day this is... in the midst of the celebration of Bin Laden's death... be sure to pray for those who are still in Iraq, like my dad, and for the U.S. in general... there will be retaliation.

Its been real, bin laden.

Got that son of a bitch!!!

OSAMA BIN LADEN IS DEAD! THANK GOD!

Our great American military has pursued and killed Osama Bin Laden! Thank you for your service to our country, US Troops! Your sacrifice is appreciated!

Congratulations to the U.S.A. Military and the crew that dropped the bomb that FINALLY killed Bin Laden!! You have all sacrificed so much and I am proud of each and everyone of you!! And proud to be an American!!

Long live AMERICA!!!

ok bin ladens dead kool now put back on my show

Where were you when you heard Bin Laden was no longer a threat?

Apparently I was on Facebook...

Ok, he's dead... PUT BACK Celebrity Apprentice!!!!!!!

‎...my dad texts me saying he thinks Obama is making an announcement that Osama Bin Laden is dead. Two minutes later, Fox News confirms he's dead. My dad: "I hope they're not quoting me. I could get in so much trouble for this."

Osama bin laden is dead...thanks George W. Bush for doing your job, and thank Barack Obama for announcing it.

It's a little disheartening that the banner of our country will be flown higher than the banner of Christ today...

Too bad this probably won't stop al queda.... Still pray for the safety of our soldiers and for safety here on the home front...

Why does wgn have a "sexy" bin laden pic?

So what, Bin Laddens dead... His 15 minutes of fame was up back in 2000.!

Wow. Surprised at the relief I feel at the news of Osama's likely death...

wants to know who is this Osama Bin Laden everyone is speaking of?!

Nine years, seven months, two weeks, and six days after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Osama bin Laden has been killed by the US military. I couldn't be more proud of those who serve in our military and who have lost their lives over the past ten years.

Osama bin laden that bastard is dead hell yeah!!

Bin Laden=Dead AMERICA!!!

now if only waldo was this easy to find

THEY GOT BIN LADIN! Ding dog bin ladins dead! :)

bring the troops home! thank you to all the heroes who fought for this day. USA ! USA! USA!

This is a goodnight! Tomorrow the whole world will be a better place. I know Chuck Norris played big role in taking down Bin Laden!

I think Bin Laden just overloaded Facebook, His ultimate terrorist plot!

Gadhafi's son and some grandchildren killed yesterday. Bin Laden killed today. Didn't your parents teach you not to put your address and important personal info all over your Facebook profiles?

Bin Laden bin owned

Yeah! Bin Laden goes down! Sup now Al Qaeda!

supposedly they bombed bin laden in his mansion of course america the last place ull ever expect to find him- his house. i hope this isnt truth cuz we're gonna look rly stupid

Team America, FOR THE WIN. And some of you call me a non-patriot... HA!

If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? I'm sorry but I am sadden by murder in all forms.

Is it bad if when my grandmother told me theres a press conference about Osama Bin Laden being dead and I said "meh" and switched to Bones? I figured he die sooner or later. -_-

BIN LADEN IS DEAD! That makes me so happy and so scared at the same time...

well i guess i will do it too..... OSAMA BIN LADEN IS DEAD!!!!!!!!! bitch u ran for 10 years but UR DEAD!!!!! hahaha!!

Today is one of America's proudest moments. Regardless of your views and opinions, today is a day we should celebrate and listen to our commander in chief speak on the historic moment.

Not sure if it is a proud moment or a showing moment but a "USA" chant is going in the stands in Philly as the news spreads about Osama's death.

Great Osama is dead...Now where the fuck am I suppose to get my exploding teddy bears.
Hey Fox Live, who's Usama Bin Laden? Epic. Spelling. Fail.

With Osama Bin Laden dead, I think it is safe to say we can re-write Dante Alighieri's "The Inferno" and replace Cassius and Brutus in Satan's mouth with Bin Laden and Saddam Hussein.

justice served......ten years late

Obama-rama!

Does anyone else find it suspicious that just in time for Obama's time for re-election they trot out the news saying that Osama is dead? If he was killed in a missile strike there's no way his body could have been identified. I think he has been dead longer than just a week.

“Man cannot live without love. He remains a being that is incomprehensible for himself, his life is senseless, if love is not revealed to him, if he does not encounter love, if he does not experience love and make it his own, if he does not participate intimately in it.”

-Blessed John Paul II (From the encyclical Redemptor Hominis)

Dear Osama Bin Laden, .. I WIN! Sincerely, Waldo

It's good to know chuck Norris was in Pakistan.

Yes I'm happy that there was some justice tonight but I struggle to believe that it is reason to forget, or even stop talking, about the problems we still have in our own country. Where is our governments priorities? Obama got his self proclaimed #1 target so now what does he have planned?
Ps. Everyone praising America for Osama Bin Laden's reported death: I think it is kind of weird/morbid to speak so jubilantly about it. I understand where it comes from, but I don't particularly like it.

Holy cow. Still trying to process the news of Bin Laden's death.

Obama killed Osama when no one else could, lets all vote to re-elect him!

i hope the man who shot osama bin ladin gets a congretional medal of honor and osama's head to put on the mantle piece of his fireplace

Thank you to the men and women that made today possible! Praying for the families that lost a loved one on 9-11. This will be a whole bag of mixed feelings!

Now that's my president! Today like everyday I'm proud to be an American! Thank you US military special forces for getting the job done!

We're sounding pretty ignorant right now, America. Maybe dial it back juuuuust a tad?

And this is why I love my major, criminal effing justice!

In the words of the illustrious Uncle Rico... "Right on... Right on."

High Fives to the troops.

Rejoicing death is a little too much for me. I'll be celebrating love tonight.

If anything i hope that this means i can now start bringing my shampoo and hairspray with me when i travel

Thankful that our country has remained safe since 9/11. Some may call bin laden's death "karma".

I call it the result of God's faithfulness and the sacrifice of the men and women of the US military.

‎"America can do anything it sets it's mind to" - Obama. AKA 'Mericuh can do what it wants haha
lost 4 friends due to osama statuses....someone mad?

MSNBC mentioned a flash mob in NYC singing "We are the Champions". Yikes.

The death toll of the September 11th attacks far outnumbered those of Pearl Harbor. Bin Laden is dead, what a day of victory!!!

so on google the google pic on te homepage is some city and you can search 4 osama lmao iswear on my life im not joking

End of a dark era :)

The war is not over. The final war against evil will not be over until the Lord parts the skys and comes to take us home. But until then, thank you, thank you, thank you to those of you who have served and are serving to protect my freedom!

In the words of the illustrious Uncle Rico... "Right on... Right on."

High Fives to the troops.

Holy cow....this news is long overdue, may we never forget the lives lost over the years because of this man, and may we realize that the war on terrorism still continues, and our troops are still fighting, God Bless them and their families.

I don't entirely understand the current reaction most seem to be having over Bin Laden's death. People confuse me.

Everyone keeps saying the wicked witch is dead in their statuses, but I don't get it...the Red Wings still need to lose 2 more games before we can trumpet that this is truly "a great day for the world"

A HUGE THANK YOU to our military, who have sacrificed, died, suffered, and worked hard, to fight people like Osama Bin Laden. YOU are the ones we thank. YOU are the ones who deserve ALL CREDIT. Thank a soldier for bringing due justice for those lost on 9/11 and all the victims around the world who suffered from his commands. Feel free to copy and paste if you agree.
Osama Bin Laden is dead, now if they could just get the dudes responsible for knocking down the towers!!

Haaha people are saying that we should get 50% off clothes on the Pacsun fanpage since Osama is dead. wow lol

Bin Laden is dead! USA finally did something good!

I'm so happy no Americans were killed when getting him. Hell yea.

everyone will forget about this this week cuz lady gagas new video will premiere

What will become of the Bluth company?

I got my riot pants on.

about time obama did some thing at least some what right.

The most upsetting thing for about this news...is that we've been playing the celebrity name game wrong for all these years!! It's Usama, not Osama :-/

‎"The destruction of the wicked is joy." - Proverbs 11:10. It's biblical eat it!!

‎Damn, I was really hoping to get Osama's thoughts on Kate's dress...

God bless Americia! America, PRAISE and SEEK God!

But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you Luke. 6:27-28

Thank you so much to all the men and women who have served and are serving our country through the armed services

OSAMA BIN LADIN IS DEAD!!!!! PRAISE THE LORD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

God bless our troops for serving our country and making the world a better place through their courage. You made us proud!!

Aaand commence the arguments over Obama. Jeeze guys, bin Laden is dead, and the president -has- to take responsibility for it. He's the face of our country. Everyone in the planning should be equally credited and will be.

In all seriousness, thank God. Today is historic.

Osama bin laden. Hide and seek champion.2001-2011.

"Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, and let not your heart be glad when he stumbles, lest the Lord see it and be displeased, and turn away his anger from him. Fret not yourself because of evildoers, and be not envious of the wicked, for the evil man has no future; the lamp of the wicked will be put out." --Proverbs 24:17-18

When it comes to big arm chairs, I have a deep-seated fear.

Peladophobia: fear of baldness and bald people.
Aerophobia: fear of drafts.
Porphyrophobia: fear of the color purple.
Chaetophobia: fear of hairy people.
Levophobia: fear of objects on the left side of the body.
Dextrophobia: fear of objects on the right side of the body.
Auroraphobia: fear of the northern lights.
Calyprophobia: fear of obscure meanings.
Thalassophobia: fear of being seated.
Stabisbasiphobia: fear of standing and walking.
Odontophobia: fear of teeth.
Graphophobia: fear of writing in public.
Phobophobia: fear of being afraid

Two little kids were in a hospital laying next to each other. The first kid leaned over and asked, "What are you in for?" The second kid said, "I'm in to get my tonsils out and I'm a little nervous."

The first kid said, "You got nothing to worry about, I had that done to me once. They put you to sleep and when you wake up they give you lots of Jell-O and ice cream. It's a piece of cake!"

The second kid then asked, "What are you in here for?" The first kid said, "Well, I'm here for a circumcision."
The second kid said, "Oooh, that's not good. I had that done when I was born, and I couldn't walk for a year!"

Fear has a strange way of crippling us. It grips us, often at the most illogical times, and doesn't let go. It's curious how repeatedly we sometimes allow the same fear to grip us time after time, even after "conquering" it for what we hoped would be the last time. I heard Michael J. Fox put it well today:

"There is failure, but none of those holes are vacuums".

A couple of years ago my brothers and I decided it would be a good idea to take my dad skydiving for his birthday. Then we climbed up a few rungs on the "Good Idea Ladder" and decided that this kind of gift was best given as a surprise.
So after an hour and a half of driving without giving him any indication of where we were going, we pulled up to a hanger with a sign on the side that read: "Wild Wind Skydiving".

All my dad could do in that moment was to utter the word "No" over and over again. We of course giggled like school girls, slapped him on the back, and got out of the car.

We approached the particular hanger that we would be flying out of, and the first thing I saw was a wooden artist's figurine laying on top of our "Wild Wind" instruction manual. This particular figurine had a heavily taped right arm, and was missing his left leg entirely. Not the most comforting of images to be greeted with before jumping out of a plane, to say the least.
Fear: Conceived

We then met Milovan; a massive, intentionally bald, militant-looking Serbian man who stood towing over us as he smiled and shook our infant hands. "Welcome" he said in a deep, booming accent."Are you ready for a good time?"
Now, to me, "Are you ready for a good time?"sounded more like something I would find carved on the inside of a bathroom stall at some remote gas station during a road trip across the midwest, but I let it slide.

After we shakingly signed our pile of release forms, it was time for our instruction. Milovan stood inside a crude wooden frame that I assume was meant to simulate the inside of an airplane. "You get inside, thrust forward and then we go. Sound good?" he said blithely.

So to reiterate, the extent of our tutelage was to "Get inside, thrust forward, and go". 

Fear: First trimester
As we are deciding who among us will be the first brave soul to go up in this small plane and jump, I asked Milovan if I could wear the Superman costume that I had brought with me over my dive suit. He laughed and said "You can just wear it AS you suit, friend!" Again, not being a connoisseur of air travel or sky-diving, I assumed those suits actually served some sort of significant purpose, but Milovan assured me that they did not.

So I put on my costume, and walked to the plane only to find Milovan sitting inside with a big grin on his face and a banana in his hand. He then chuckled to himself and slapped his lap, indicating it as my seat for our ascension to the clouds. Not quite the scene I was anticipating.

I climbed in, strapped in, and we began our ascent. With us was the owner of "Wild Wind" and a young lad who was going to experience his first free-fall unattached to an instructor.

The ride up was terrifying. Because it was such a small plane, it bobbed up and down almost constantly, causing one to experience the full range of terror before the dive. What's more is that it seemed as though the owner had an abnormally potent case of gas.

Fear: Second trimester

When it came time for the rookie to exit the plane, he opened the small door to put his feet on the ledge before falling backwards. His feet slipped however, and he hung by his hands, with a look of utter panic, and shook his head violently to indicate that he no longer wanted to jump. The owner however, simply nodded a creepy and assuring"yes" and pushed this poor fellow out of the plane. He then jumped right after him and I watched as they both quickly turned to dots, and then disappeared all together.

Fear: Third Trimester

Now when the two of them had jumped, the plane bounced up and down like a tugboat in a squall. Everything in me tensed up, and I'm sure I started breathing as if I was in labor. Milovan's maternal instinct must have kicked in at this point because he then put his mouth right next to my ear and whispered tenderly "Just relax". Super.

We then scooted to the small opening in this jalopy of an airplane, and just as our wise instructor taught us, I thrusted and then I went. Here is the image of that very moment. 

Fear: Water break

The free fall was unlike anything I had every experienced. Every second of this event was surreal in the best sense of the word. I was both afraid, and yet somehow completely enthralled. It felt as though every sense was running on all cylinders, and I loved every minute of it.

Milovan then opens the chute and we begin to glide. What he didn't tell me was that there is a small adjustment phase in the harness when the parachute is opened, and the passenger drops down about four inches in the harness. 

Fear: Birthed

Yelling with all the energy I could muster, I began grasping like a mad man to grab hold of anything I could to keep from falling to the earth to my impending doom. Milovan simply bellowed a deep and hearty laugh at my frightened response. He actually continued laughing for quite some time after that, as if he was watching a mouse trying to knock over a whale.
We landed, and despite my previously unheroic response, I was a ball of exhilaration. I think the first thing I said to my family was "Let's do that again."

It's strange how at one moment we can be absolutely terrified of a situation, a circumstance, a decision, or even a person, and in the next we can be chuckling that we ever allowed that situation to scare us so much in the first place. I love what the Psalmist says:

When you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet. Have no fear of sudden disaster or of the ruin that overtakes the wicked, for the LORD will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being snared. –Proverbs 3:24

In the Old Testament, sleep was a sign of blessing. When the disciples are caught in that raging storm, Jesus was sleeping. Their fear apparently wasn't his.

There is a fascinating animal indigenous to Africa called the impala. This remarkable animal can jump up to 10 feet in the air, and over 30 feet out. But if you've ever seen an impala in a zoo, you'll notice that the wall they are using to keep that impala in place is likely to be no more than 3 feet tall. The reason for this is simple -the impala with never jump to a place if it cannot see the ground it will land on.

Aren't we like that at times? We talk about wanting to take risks, to love without abandon, but more often than not we require assurance that it's going to turn out the way we want it to before we'll ever take any action.

How often do we allow the fears in our lives dictate the decisions we make? How often do our past experiences, logical analysis, or our doubt play a bigger factor in how we respond, than the truth we've been given time and time again?
There are two quotes that I think examine this idea well.

The feeling of being hurried is not usually the result of living a full life and having no time. It is, on the contrary, born of a vague fear that we are wasting our life. When we do not do the one thing we ought to do, we have no time for anything else, we are the busiest people in the world. -Eric Hoffer

I am inwardly fashioned for faith, not for fear. Fear is not my native land; faith is. I am so made that worry and anxiety are sand in the machinery of life; faith is the oil. I live better by faith and confidence than by fear, doubt and anxiety. In anxiety and worry, my being is gasping for breath, these are not my native air. But in faith and confidence, I breathe freely, these are my native air.-- Dr. E. Stanley Jones

I don't think our goal is to reject the notion that life is ever scary. That's not reality. Life is absolutely terrifying at times. What I think should become our task, is to eagerly and often tell the stories of the incredible free fall, the stories of overcoming, and of restoration. If we can begin to realize the importance of the victories in our own lives, I have a feeling those instances will have the capacity to inspire and encourage others as well.

And it is scary, but it is so worth the ride.

Don't worry if your favorite dinner becomes unfashionable - at least you'd have one square meal.

A young boy was driving a hay-rack down the road when the wagon fell over in front of a farmer’s house. The farmer came out, saw the young boy crying and said, "Son, don’t worry about this, we can fix it. Right now dinner’s ready. Why don’t you come in and eat with us and then I’ll help you put the hay back on the rack." The boy said, "No, I can’t. My father is going to be very angry with me." The farmer said, "Now don’t worry, just come in and have some lunch and you’ll feel better." The boy said, "I’m just afraid my father is going to be very angry with me." The farmer and the young boy went inside and had dinner. Afterward, as they walked outside to the hay-rack, the farmer said, "Now, son, don’t you feel better after that great meal?" The boy said, "Yes but I just know that my father will be very angry with me." The farmer said, "Nonsense. Where is your father anyway?" The boy said, "He’s under that wagon."



Everyone worries. Sometimes for logical reasons, sometimes for illogical reasons. Regardless of who we are or what we've been through, worry has been a part of our life in some way.


I was surprised to find out that over 25 million Americans have high blood pressure due to stress and anxiety. 8 million have stomach ulcers every week, and a total of 112 million Americans take medication for stress related symptoms, surpassing even depression as the most common mental illness in the continental United States. According to "The Economic Burden of Anxiety Disorders," a study commissioned by the ADAA and based on data gathered by the association and published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, anxiety disorders cost the U.S. more than $42 billion a year, almost one third of the $148 billion total mental health bill for the U.S. Make no mistake about it; we are a worried people.


When I was in India, there was a lot that I was worried about. I basically lived as a nomad for almost two months when my internship fell through and was literally placed on train after train, asked to go to these seemingly random locations all over Northern India to preach, teach guitar and soccer, work in orphanages, and minister to families. It was both enthralling, and absolutely terrifying at the same time.


One thing that I wasn't prepared for was the incredible number of bulls that roamed the streets freely every day. They are sacred and not to be killed, so they would casually saunter through the bazaar like a stray cat; a stray cat the size of an SUV. I remember on multiple occasions going for a nightly stroll through whatever town I was staying in that week, rounding a corner, and coming almost face to face with a massive meandering bull. In these instances I would do what any bold, courageous young man would do. I froze. I would stand there, firmly plastered against the nearest wall, and try not to make a noise until the bull strolled past me. Every day I would see scenes like this one, and completely freeze.






After a few weeks I made the astonishing realization that these bulls didn't care about me at all. They weren't bothered by my presence in the slightest, nor did they really even notice me most of the time. I remember observing small children, no older than five or six, swatting bulls away with sticks and yelling at them to leave their stand alone. I remember thinking "If that bull ever figures out how truly gargantuan it is, they are all going to be in trouble." But as my summer continued, the bulls never really asserted their power (kind of like a certain Chicago team we know, eh?), and they never snapped and trampled me or anyone else. I spent so much of my time stressing over a fear that was not a reality in the slightest.


Another serious contributor to my worry tank while in India was the transportation. Every day, whether I was in a rickshaw, a tonga, or a vehicle, I would look in front of me and see scenes like this:



Indians take great joy in their transit insanity - swerving in and out of literally any space they can find. It is a fascinating and terrifying dance that each and every person on the road is a part of. Buses pass each other at 60mph with only inches between them. Families will load up five people on a single scooter and buzz through the crowds. Men ride bikes with propane tanks hanging over their wheels and stacked on their rack as they speedily navigate through the masses. The name of this particular market pictures above loosely translates in English "Confused Confusion", which gives you an idea of the aberration that is Indian passage.

Even while living in the mountains, I remember riding on the back of a motorcycle climbing up the side of a cliff, and as we attempted to pass a jeep our bike skidded out from under us on the gravel and fell on top of us just in front of the jeep, allowing just enough time for driver of the to slam on his brakes and stop before hitting us. Now keep in mind that to our right is a 9,000 foot drop, and to our left is the towering and rigid wall of the mountain. Again, I would find myself in what I found to be a reasonable state of anxiety, but my driver would simply laugh, pick up his bike, and we were on our merry way.


I realized that often so much of what I considered to be rational worry is not anywhere close to the stance of those I am with. Our perspectives differed greatly, and I slowly but surely began to come to terms with those differences, and trust them. Worry is, at the very least, subjective, and what was causing me great fear wasn't even showing up on the radar of those who were not alarmed by the same things I was.


Worry is actually derived from an Anglo-Saxon word meaning "to strangle or choke", which I find fascinating. How many of us can relate to that imagery intimately -the idea of feeling completely suffocated under the weight of our crippling anxiety, often times for no reason at all? I think Vance Havner put it well when he said:

“Worry, like a rocking chair, will give you something to do, but it won’t get you anywhere"



I think a lot of us buy into the notion that worry will somehow improve our situation, or at the very least, communicate to those around us that we really are compassionate-hence our worry. We seem to confuse concern with worry, and have a strange tendency to praise the one that worries the most, because that means he/she is truly the most invested. After time it becomes a part of our normal, daily routine.


The great comedian Carl Hurley tells the story about trying to throw a trash can away. He said it’s the one thing you can’t get the garbage man to pick up. He said, I set an old rusty garbage can out at the street one morning thinking the garbage man would understand that it needed to be thrown away. He said, when I came back that afternoon the can was stacked up with the rest of my empty trash cans.


Well the next week I put it out again and this time I turned it upside down so they could see that the bottom had several holes in it and it needed thrown away. When I cam home it was stacked up next to the empty cans again.

The next week I took a sledgehammer and I beat the can in pretty good and I left it out front and when I came home not only was it stacked up next to the other empty trash cans but the garbage man had actually tried to beat it back into shape.


And so he said finally I did the only thing I could do. I went to the hardware store and bought a heavy duty chain and a padlock and I chained the old can to a large tree in my front yard. And sure enough, that night somebody stole it.


I think worry is a lot like that trashcan. We know we need to get rid of it, but we're not even sure how to . I think the issue isn't necessarily that worry is present, but how we respond to it. When we worry about the latest setback, or a friend getting sick, or fiances getting tight, our response in worry is often to blame others or God.

There are so many powerful verses on this topic, but my favorite comes from Luke 12:


22Then Jesus said to his disciples: "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. 23Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. 24Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! 25Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? 26Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?27"Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 28If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith! 29And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. 30For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. 31But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.32"Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. 33Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. 34For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Luke 12:22-34)


I think the thesis of this small section is not to convince us of the health benefits of not worrying, or to provide twelve easy steps to living a worry free life. Luke seems much more concerned with getting us to understand how truly precious we are to God. It's as if he realizes that if we can catch the powerful significance of that reality, then the rest tends to start to fall in place. That when we can buy into the truth of God's goodness, His provision, and His relentless love for us, things like outfits and menus don't seem quite as daunting.

The Greek word translated here as "do not worry" literally means "to be drawn in different directions." Worry pulls us apart. We are pulled apart because often what we do is so out of harmony, so out of tune with what God intends for humanity, for His children. We try to live our lives in our own private kingdoms, with safeguards and storehouses we've established and for built for ourselves in the name of logic and reason, but forget the God that cares for the lilies and the sparrow. The God that sleeps in a boat during a raging storm as His closest friends panic.

I think that there is a strong correlation to worry, and the pace of our lives. Most of us live at a pace that is so unsustainable, that it seems we can do nothing but worry.

I read the story several years ago about a city that was having problems with their busses. Busses were driving right past passengers at the bus stops. It caused quite a stir in the newspapers. The Transit Authorities decided to answer the questions by putting out a press release in order to explain the situation. That press release has become infamous in public relations classes. Because what the transit authority press release said was this: “It is impossible for us to maintain our schedules if we are always having to stop and pick up passengers.”

When we’re in a hurry we sometimes miss the main things.


John Ortberg pinpoints this in his article, Taking Care of Busyness. He says, "For most of us, the great danger is not that we will renounce our faith. It is that we will become so distracted and rushed and preoccupied that we will settle for a mediocre version of it. We will just skim our lives instead of actually living them."


I think we would do well to slow down, to live a day at a time, and to keep a long term perspective. If I knew my house was going to burn down tomorrow, how much time would I spend worrying about how to decorate it today? Jesus challenges us to fix our eyes on him first and foremost.


And ultimately we need to remind each other of God's faithfulness. That is the powerful narrative of our lives. I remember a former pastor and dear friend back home had a sign on his office door that read "Worry is another form of atheism." I used to be so irritated with that sign until it finally clicked for me. That worry is not simply some ailment that each of us struggle to overcome, but a greater story that we each tell -of God's faithfulness and power, that inspires and reminds us of the greatness of the one we serve. Our stories bind us together in struggle and in victory, in the the sweet melody of our bloodline.


I pray that I will be able to slow down long enough to enjoy the silence, to rest in His stillness, and to experience more fully His mystery. May we live fully in every moment we're given, remembering the great slavery each of us have been freed from, and shout these truths from the rooftops of our existence. May proclamations fill the ears of a deaf world and sooth even the most bitter of hearts. May our lives be an example of a God that provides.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. (Phil 4:6)