Soon we’ll be electing a new president, and get all those changes we’ve been hoping for. Gas prices are coming down. Congress will soon have – I mean, give us – some more of our money to spend. The economy is going up, or down, depending on who you listen to. The Iraq war is getting better, and troops are coming home. The Dallas Cowboys (plus Jessica) are America’s Team again. I guess there’s nothing left to worry about, right?
Not long ago I was in a public restroom that still had one of those pull-down linen hand towels. Somebody left the front panel off, and there for all to see were these emboldened words:
FAILURE TO LOAD PROPERLY COULD RESULT IN INJURY OR DEATH!
I dried my hands on my jeans. I mean, you never know! I could just see my tombstone now:
“Here the body of Andy lies,
He pulled on a towel, and found a surprise.
He lived life well, and we’ll never forget -
Now his soul’s with God, but his hands are still wet.”
I was eating at a world-famous restaurant that will go unnamed. As I walked beneath its arches (oops!) and ordered a burger, I grabbed a few napkins. There in beautiful print were these words: “Made from 100% recycled paper.” As I wiped the secret sauce from my mouth and meditated on world events, I was suddenly siezed with a frightening thought: recycled from WHAT? The possibilities were overwhelming, and my shirt sleeve was available. No more recycled napkins for me!
A few years ago I got really excited about antioxidants. Those are the vitamins and nutrients that help block free radicals from ravaging our immune systems and causing aging, cancer, and heart disease. I was talking to a doctor friend of mine about it, and he said, “If we eliminate cancer and heart disease, then how would people die?” Dude! You’re a doctor! What’d they teach you in the Transylvania School of Medicine?
I was standing at a water fountain, belting the cold stuff down on a well-traveled hall in a familiar public building. This particular water fountain stands outside a pair of restrooms. As I let go of the fountain’s handle, suddenly the toilet in the men’s room comes on and starts filling up. Eewwwww! Anybody got a Coke?
A few years ago I was driving up Alabama Highway 17 when the sign told me I was entering Emmelle. So this is the famous Emmelle, I thought. Home of the famous toxic waste landfill where trucks from all over the South haul hazardous chemicals for disposal. As I traveled up the highway, the huge stretch of chain link fence told me I must be getting close to this well-publicized landmark. In the distance, I saw the entrance to the landfill, and a large truck was coming from the other direction. I was entranced. What hazardous waste did this truck carry? Where was it from? What company produced these dangerous chemicals? As I got closer, and the big truck turned in, there in big bold letters was the answer to my question:
Hmmm. Believe I’ll start drinking grape.
A study was conducted by a famous food scientist to determine if people who ate dill pickles suffered any ill effects. When someone recently tried to follow up on his research, he discovered that everyone who participated in the study had died! That doesn’t worry me, though. I don’t eat dill pickles. Anyway, the initial study was done in the late 1860s. And the person who reported that alarming statistic is now working for one of the political campaigns.
A man named Joseph Scriven heard that his mother-in-law was coming to live with him. He didn’t worry, but she did! About everything! One night, ol’ Joe waxed poetic, and as a joke, wrote his mother-in-law a little poem. But his little poem fell into someone else’s hands, and a fellow named Converse set it to music. The rest is history. “What a Friend We Have in Jesus” became one of our most treasured hymns.
You can worry. You can pray. But you can’t do both. When you do “take it to the Lord in prayer,” you’ll find that He is bigger than any worry.
Bigger than killer-towel holders and recycled paper.
Bigger than toxic soda or pickles from hell.
Bigger than Doctors of Death.
And bigger than anything you might be worried about as well. Take it to Him!