Don't let anxiety steal the next 30 minutes

I have not written the following blog. I give full credit to Kelly Flanagan. Below are excerpts of his most recent blog.

I've been listening to many around me who deal with anxiety recently.

I think it's a good reminder to all of us to practice "not for the next 30 minutes" and cast our cares on our loving Abba, and just sway with His leading....(1 Peter 5:7)

What Anxiety Steals from Us (and How to Steal It Back)

My pockets are empty, and it’s disconcerting.

We’re at a church picnic in a local city park. The sun is shining and it conspires with summer foliage and a gentle breeze to dapple the grass in dancing light and shadow. The children do their dance, bouncing and playing amongst it all. But thunderstorms are predicted and I’ve left my iPhone at home and I have no way to check on the ever-shifting summer forecast.

I mindlessly reach for it several times. I touch only lint.

Finally, during a lull in conversation, I ask someone with a phone if it is going to rain. And then she does something that undoes me. She doesn’t reach for her phone. Instead, she looks toward the sunny skies in the west, looks back at me with a smile, and says, “Not for the next thirty minutes.”

Not for the next thirty minutes.

She’s not just giving me the answer to my question, she’s giving me the answer to my season. What I mean is, I’ve got a busy autumn coming—more blogging, a new podcast, speaking engagements around the country—much of it new and uncertain, all of it demanding in the way only new and uncertain things can be.

And I’ve been focused on those storms coming.

Meanwhile, while I keep checking my mental radar, this thirty minutes of life—these dog days of summer ...—are quickly slipping past.

This is what anxiety does to us. It robs us of the sunny moments.

We go through stretches of life in which everything is basically okay.....

In other words, life may not be perfect, but it is probably as good as it gets.

We are given respites in life—thirty minutes here and there of sunlight and dancing shadows, thirty minutes to play a little bit, thirty minutes to rest and recover from the hardships of being human—but our anxiety turns even those respites into rigor. It robs us of our rest. It focuses us not on this thirty minutes; rather, it brings the storms that aren’t yet upon us into the present moment, until there are no present moments left to enjoy......, Sure, a busy autumn is coming, but…

Not for the next thirty minutes.


...“Did you know a reed’s only job is to sway?”

I know we human beings are here to do a lot more than sway. But maybe sometimes...our only job is to sway. To stand still in one place and to simply be. To let ourselves be nudged around by the winds of time. To be gently moved by it all. (to rest in His loving care and mercy)

...And I will do so by repeating this mantra on every breath, “Don’t miss this thirty minutes.”

This isn’t an idea; it’s a practice.

(I would interject that this is the practice of casting our cares on Him as it states in 1 Peter 5:7)...

And like any practice, if we are faithful to it, it can bend our life to its shape. If we are faithful to it, for just a little while, we may discover the freedom to simply sway. (to rest in Him)

And then, as we sway, we will begin to trust

when the storms come, as they likely will, they will bend us, but they will not break us, and eventually they too will pass, for another thirty minutes or so, and then we will be free, once again,to simply sway.