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Destroying What Is with Thoughts of What May Be *

July 28, 2014

While in Haiti I had opportunity to visit several of the forts that dot the countryside. Most were built immediately after the revolution to defend against the French whom Haitians feared would try to reclaim their colony.

The invasion never came. Not one of these defences ever fired a shot in anger.

As I explored these forts, many strategically built on the highest mountaintops to provide a panoramic view of the countryside and the surrounding sea, I would marvel at how much effort must have been expended in lugging the materials necessary for their construction, as well as the massive cannons to arm them, up slopes that exhausted me to climb burdened by only my camera and my water bottle. And that’s before even beginning to erect the stone walls of these formidable defensive fortifications.

I wondered at this country, ravaged by 12 years of war, its economic infrastructure in ruins, it populace decimated, investing a staggering portion of its remaining resources, both material and human, to palliate its fear of an enemy attack that never materialized. The construction of these forts contributed significantly to the sluggishness of Haiti’s recovery from the revolution.

But aren’t we all like this? Don’t we build our own mountaintop forts, fearfully expending huge amounts of energy and resources to defend ourselves against threats that never materialize?

And aren’t we likewise harmed ourselves? Worry and emotional stress can trigger a host of health problems running the gamut from digestive disorders, stroke, premature coronary artery disease and heart attack. It can interfere with appetite, lifestyle habits, sleep, and job performance. Research has revealed it makes one prone to impaired thought processes, short term memory loss, depression and early onset dementia. Worry can shorten a person’s life. It saps our strength and robs us of our joy. It clouds our relationships with others and with God. And for what?

Researchers at the University of Cincinnati have concluded that 85% of what we worry about never happensI have seen this statistic further categorized into things that will never happen, things that have already happened and cannot be changed, and things over which one has no influence. In reality, there is precious little of what goes on in our lives that we can determine through our own actions. Inasmuch as we have so little control, it only makes sense to resign as general managers of our lives and hand things over to one who has all in his control—God—trusting in his promises.

 

“Let go of your concerns! Then you will know that I am God. I rule the nations. I rule the earth.” (Psalm 46:10 GW)

 

Never worry about anything. But in every situation let God know what you need in prayers and requests while giving thanks. Then God’s peace, which goes beyond anything you can imagine, will guard your thoughts and your emotions through Jesus Christ. (Philippians 4:6-7 GW)

 

 

Do not be afraid of tomorrow, for God is already there.

~ Author Unknown

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* The title for this post is from John Dryden’s play The Conquest of Granada, published in 1612.

 

pile of bibles

You may note that the scripture verses in this post are from the God’ Word Translation.  I had been unaware of (or perhaps had ignored) this translation until very recently.  I came across it in my Internet travels, and finding that as its publishers contend, it “accurately translates the meaning of the original texts into clear, everyday language”, I added it to the stack of Bibles on my laptop’s ‘bookshelf’.  Although I have my favourites (I had just warmed up to the ESV), I honour no ‘brand loyalty’ when it comes to Bibles.  As I have expressed in past posts, I find that although each translation has its strengths, it also its weaknesses.  But I try not to worry about that.

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