Don’t Worry! Be Irresponsible! Uptightism Vs. Dudeism (Part II in the Worry Series)

Don’t worry. Be irresponsible.

Honestly, on a deep subconscious level, this is what I often think my other choice is when it comes to dealing with worry.

So, part of the problem with abandoning worry as a lifestyle is my lack of role models. I have no practical idea what it looks like to live an adult life without anxiety.

I have seen people who don’t worry but they are either:

Irresponsible (Relax! Speed limits are just guidelines!),

The cause of worry in others (You get worked up over everything! I’ll go to the hospital if the chest pain is still there in the morning),

Self-medicating (Another round of margaritas while I wait for my friends to arrive, bartender!)

Or otherwise not engaged with reality (Life always works out for the best, man. People are waaaayy too hung up on regular meals and a warm bed. My kids are learning lessons from life, dude, from life!).

In my world, the people who worry are the ones who keep everything going. They are the go-to people who get things done. They are the workers, the movers, the cleaners, the bill-payers, the planners and the ones who keep everything from spinning out of control.

The relaxed people are the ones who make everyone else late.

The ones who are stress-free are generally carriers. It’s no coincidence that every person who has ever told me to “Relax!” has been the very person who was stressing me out in the first place! The calm “dudes” of the world are the ones who just don’t get it and who rely on those of us who do worry to bail them out when their laid back stance gets them in trouble.

So, is this the direction God wants me to head? Because, honestly, I think it would kill me to face these people in my life and say “You’re right, dude. I’ve been the problem all along. Me and my silly little worries. Let’s ignore the bills, tip back a few and sit out on my porch (because we’d better adjust NOW to living outside!).”

Well, that makes no sense but still, God very clearly states that I am not to worry – as a lifestyle.

Matthew 6:34: “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

Philippians 4:6: “Do not be anxious about anything,”

Psalm 37:8: Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret—it leads only to evil.

So, probably, I’m looking at it wrong.

Maybe viewing it like it’s a choice between Uptightism and Dudeism is what’s out of whack. Maybe my choices aren’t limited to business suits or tie-dyed T’s, high-rises or homeless shelters. Maybe God is telling me that what He wants for me is so rare in the world that I have to learn directly from Him what it looks like.

OK, yeah, that sounds like God.

But, you’re out there saying, there are other types of people who don’t worry.

I agree.

There are the Donald Trump’s. These types seem pretty relaxed, don’t they? Well, sure. They’ve got pretty much everything they need. What’s to worry about?

Then there are the Mother Theresa’s. Sort of the anti-Trumps. They’ve chosen to have nothing, given up all possessions, personal plans and pursuits, ergo, they, too, have everything they need. No worries.

Striving to reach the state of Trump has probably contributed to my current attachment to fretting. I could go the way of Theresa but I’m very attached to my laptop, my books and my red chili coffee mug so that’s not happening.

What if I want to live the life Christ calls me to live within the context of the life He’s given me?

Oh, yeah, that’s His point.

Obviously, this is a big issue, this worry thing. Obviously, this is now, not just a part II but a series of posts. Because I am really not done figuring out how I’m supposed to give this up.

Well, actually, I have. I mean, I know I will give it up with the help of Jesus, by the power of His Holy Spirit, through prayer and study of His word. But as real as that is, that’s the “church answer” and I’m trying to figure out what it actually looks like because, honestly, I spend hours a week in prayer and in the Bible and I’ve walked with Jesus my whole life and I know about spiritual warfare and I am still plagued by worry so the answer may be simple but it sure isn’t easy, you know what I mean?

My guideline for this change process is to allow the Holy Spirit to renew my mind, to change my thinking as in Romans 12:2 “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

So, I’m realizing I need a picture from God of what it looks like to live worry free without turning into someone who seems disconnected from reality. And I realize that part of the plan has to include meditating on the REALity and the TRUEth of the Kingdom of God. When my children were freaked out at the thought of monsters under their beds, I did not feel their stress because I understood the reality and truth of the situation.

I need to understand the reality and the truth of my situation. Ooohhh. Now I have to go and think about that and pray and read more scripture.

I don’t need to disconnect from reality – I need to connect with it. Wow.

I’ll be back.

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    The Conversation

  1. Andrea says:

    Be careful what you ask for…!! Like you, all my examples use to be unhealthy ones. About 6 years ago or so…GOD brought Doug (my now husband) into my life and 99% of the time he exemplifies a stable NON worrying attitude. He leaves it at the feet of Jesus while maintaining normalcy, responsibility, and even caution. I live with it and I still don’t fully get it. Like you, I have to keep storming the heavens…return to give it back to GOD and storm the heavens more…over and over until I finally surrender fully. All along…it is a struggle for me. I am better than I once was. GOD has certainly used Doug to help me. He always tells me that most things people worry about never happen and that I am wasting my time by worrying. He is usually correct.

  2. Heather says:

    I see worry and forgiveness as connected – not in definition, but in how we are to deal with them. In the area of forgiveness, we cannot forget what has been done to us – it is impossible. But we have two choices: hold onto bitterness and revenge or give it over to God and let Him deal with us and the other person as He will. When we turn these situations where we need to show forgiveness over to God, we are not denying what happened; we are letting God deal with it in His time and in His way. So it is with worry. When we hand over the reins to God, that does not mean that we are denying the very real concerns of our life. What it does mean is that we are trusting God to lead us in His time, in His way, in His direction. And we trust that ultimately all things work out for the good of those who love Him, and that He rewards those who seek Him. All in all, both these things require us to “let” God be God. Though that is a lesson that must be learned over and over until that glorious day when we see Him. I am so glad that God remembers that we are dust.

  3. Thank God for Doug, Andrea! What a wonderful testimony to God’s provision for you through marriage!

  4. Excellent verses to keep in mind, Heather. Romans 8:28 and Hebrews 11:6. Two guiding verses in my own life, along with Seek first the kingdom of God and all His righteousness and all these things shall be added to you – Matthew 6:33. Keep ’em coming, sisters!

  5. Mike says:

    From one “Type A” to another, THANK YOU!

    (BTW, does one spell anal rententive with a hyphen?)

  6. I try to avoid spelling anal retentive, Mike! When we come to Jesus, does that mean we change our type – is there a “Type J”?

  7. Jackie says:

    Lori…excellent food for thought for me today. I’d like to say I’m not a worrier…but I really am…just a silent one. Worries are swirling through my head all the time. I’m copying down these scriptures…so thank you for that. I don’t have any good role models in this area either.

    Have a good weekend,

  8. I used to think I wasn’t a worrier either but I’ve changed my eating habits so that I eat when I’m hungry, not when I’m stressed and, guess what?, I wasn’t so full of faith, I was just sedating myself with food. NOW I’m learning to give that stress over to God. Teaching an old dog new tricks she thought she already knew. Good to hear from you, Jackie!

  9. I’m so with you! What the Lord is impressing on me lately is moment-by-moment dependence. Dependence doesn’t worry, like a baby doesn’t worry in its mothers arms. But dependence in an adult doesn’t lie around like a baby…it acts because “underneath are the everlasting arms.”
    So easy to say, so hard to do…and yet it’s worth it.

  10. A day-by-day, minute-by-minute, relationship with Jesus Christ.

  11. Cheri says:

    Great post, Lori!

    And I so agree with Heather’s analogy between forgiveness and worry.

    God has had to teach me how to forgive, and I’m learning how to let go of what worries me, give it to God, and watch to see what He’ll do with it.

    Life brings me constant opportunities to practice! =)


  12. “When my children were freaked out at the thought of monsters under their beds, I did not feel their stress because I understood the reality and truth of the situation.”

    LOVE THIS! It’s so true! We have to realize, DEEP DOWN, that we don’t have the whole picture. We’re simply not big enough too! Only God, our perfect shepherd can do it.

    Here’s another of my blogs that seem to work so well with yours, Lori:

    God bless you today for your honesty and dependence on the Word. Now, I’m going to head off to church and not WORRY about the Health Care vote!