The Art of Fretting

Carl began to whine with the high pitched voice that I have become accustomed to when he is worried. His hair began to rise between his shoulders and his ears perked straight up. He was definitely upset about something, but what, I am not sure. He rushed through the doggy door and quickly made his way out onto the back porch. After a couple more yelps he became quiet and retreated back inside.

As if he wanted me to fix what the issue was, he looked straight at me and began to raise his voice in protest. Unsure of what to do, I drew closer to him and petted him on his soft fur.

Fretting about issues that are out of my control can also cause me to exhibit undesirable behaviors. Just this past weekend, my daughter got married which can cause most mothers of the bride to become fretful. One particular situation had to do with making sure the right number of people were at each table. Not having enough time to complete the task and becoming anxious over the situation caused me to be snappy with the people who were involved in the set up.

In Luke 10:38, the Bible paints the picture of two women who approached a similar situation in two totally different ways. When Jesus had entered their home, Mary went directly to Jesus and sat down to hear Him teach. On the other hand, Martha began to fret over the details of serving a meal and all that it entails. She even went to Jesus and asked Him to tell her sister to get up and help. I am sure Martha was surprised when He stated in Luke 10:41, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken from her.”

What is this one thing that is needed? And how can it help me when I begin to fret over future situations that I have no control over? Mary clearly knew something that her sister didn’t. What can we learn from her in our times of worry and how can we reduce the fretfulness from our lives?

I believe for me, I should have focused on the fact that God is sovereign and in control over ALL situations. If I had consumed myself with His goodness and grace for me, then I would have had no reason to fret over the table setting. And in the end, it was a wonderful wedding and my daughter and her husband enjoyed every minute of it.

As for Carl, I am sure he will continue to fret over situations that he doesn’t have control over. And when he does, I hope that I can extend a little bit of the grace that my Father in Heaven extends to me.img_0903

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