Worrying is stupid. It’s like carrying around an umbrella waiting for it to rain.Wiz Khalifa
The above Wiz Khalifa quote has been floating around quite a bit these days. I checked. Mr. Khalifa lives in Los Angeles—where rain is rare and, when precipitation does fall, citizens are most likely in their cars. The chances of him getting wet are slim.
I’ve lived in London and in Duesseldorf (Germany) and am currently in NYC—all places where it rains on the reg and where you’re most likely to be out walking when it does. Not carrying an umbrella in these cities is just an invitation to get wet.
The analogy is just faulty. Umbrellas will actually keep you dry when it rains. Worry offers no such protection against the things we worry about.
Still…worry isn’t stupid.
To make that claim is to dismiss people’s concerns, anxieties and fears as unimportant. And that’s not okay. Sometimes our worries and our fears are completely rational and reasonable. Other times they are not. But the legitimacy of our worries and fears does not change their power over our lives. Worry (particularly about things over which we have no control) can distort our decision making, alter our mood and even destroy our health.
Any Harry Potter fan knows that our biggest power over our worries and fears is the ability to name them them. Telling people their worries are stupid is counterproductive. Those worries needs to be owned and named without the added fear that they will be dismissed.
Your worries are not stupid. They are not unimportant. In fact, they are extremely important because they have the potential to rule (and even ruin) your life. Call them out. Name them. Pray over them. Share them with God and with friends and with mental health professionals (you can love Jesus and have a therapist, too).
Rev. Anne Russ is an ordained pastor in the Presbyterian Church (USA), currently based in New York City. Doubting Believer is an online, inclusive and progressive Christian community. Follow us on Facebook and get emails to keep up with all that is happening.