So many things come along each day that cause me stress. The pressure gets overwhelming at work. My teenage daughter is calling from college wanting money. The bank account has run out before the month has. An appliance has stopped working. The 14-year-old dog is sick. He is sick all over the place for the past 3 days. While none of these scenarios are terminal, they pile up and wear me down so I feel sad, weary, let down, lost. I know that I’m not alone in this, but technically, I’m alone. My oldest daughter is married with children, my middle daughter works her tail off between full time work and full time school, and my youngest is in her first year away at college. So, the sick dog and I keep each other company.
Louie is a miniature pinscher mix who is 98 in people years. That’s old. Recently he has had a little trouble controlling his functions, if you know what I mean. This thought plagues my drive home from work each day. After dealing with my classroom full of first graders, I know that at the end of my drive I will have some cleaning up to do-doo. A couple weeks ago, I stressed about this the whole way home to the point where I was actually mad at the poor little guy before I ever walked through the door. As I reluctantly climbed the stairs and came in, I could tell it was going to be bad. All I could do was yell out, “LOUIE!” What came back, surprised me. I heard someone singing, “Don’t you worry ‘bout a thing. Don’t you worry ‘bout a thing, mama.” This response stopped me in my tracks and left me standing there with my mouth wide open. What the…?
Now before you call the looney bin on me or assume I must be delusional, let me explain an earlier event. I went with my grandchildren to see the movie, Sing. We loved it. My 3-year-old grandson loved those little bunnies and walked around singing their line repeatedly. If you’ve seen the movie or even just the commercial, you know what song I’m talking about. Not necessarily appropriate for all occasions. After the movie, the kiddos wanted to stop by McDonalds for a Happy Meal with a toy that featured Meena from the movie. Meena, the elephant, sang her song non-stop, all the way home and by the time we were there, she was played with until I was hearing “Don’t you worry ‘bout a thing,” ringing in my ears. Listen here if you’d like…https://youtu.be/t8tv38egpx8
The grandkids cleaned up to go home and I was relieved that Meena was going to get to entertain my daughter and son-in-law for the foreseeable future. As it turned out, Meena never left my house. She is somewhere in or under my couch and every loud noise or hard thump on the floor causes her to belt out her admonition to stop worrying.
This is what I heard as I yelled at Louie that day. I looked for Meena briefly but stopped after I realized that her voice was just the reminder I needed to knock off the worry, to not sweat the small stuff. Being home alone gives me more, although not needed, time inside my head, but Meena keeps me going. I don’t know how long her little batteries will last but so far, she’s been right on time, every time, with her plea. Her interjection catches me by surprise almost every time but it’s always exactly what I need to hear.
I believe that God slips these reminders into our lives in whatever ways He thinks we’ll pay attention. He knows I need them frequently. I hope we can be those reminders for one another as well. Let’s all channel our inner Meena and stop worrying about the thing; the doctor’s report, the news about our parents, the stress of our jobs, etc… Let’s begin to do something, no matter how small, to make a difference, to make it better, to help. I’m willing.
Philippians 4:6-7 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.