Worrying is Not Stupid
Worrying is stupid. It’s like carrying around an umbrella waiting for it to rain.Wiz Khalifa
I see the above quote from Wiz Khalifa quote pop up from time to time . 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.
Khalifa’s premise is faulty. Umbrellas will actually keep you dry when it rains, whereas worry offers no such protection against the things we worry about.
And worry isn’t stupid.
To make that claim is to dismiss people’s concerns, anxieties and fears as unimportant. And that’s not okay. We are continuing to live in a time of great uncertainty and anxiety, perhaps made worse by the fact that we thought this time was over.
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. I repeat: 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.
We can read about we should consider the lilies of the field and the birds of the air (Matthew 6:25-34 and Luke 12:22-32) until our eyes cross, but it won’t make the worry magically disappear.
Any Harry Potter fan knows that our biggest power over worry and fear is the ability to name them. Telling people their worries are stupid is counterproductive. People need to have safe spaces to name those fears, and being made to feel like spiritual weaklings for having worries will do nothing to help dispel them. Anxieties need 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).
Be not afraid to share your fears.
Fear not the confession of your anxiety.
Be bold in naming your worries.
Worry is no umbrella. It’s not going to protect you from a thing, but talking about that worry just might.
Rev. Anne Russ is an ordained pastor in the Presbyterian Church (USA), currently based in New York City. Doubting Believer provides tools and encouragement for the rollercoaster ride of your faith journey. Follow me on Facebook , Instagram and YouTube. You can also follow on TikTok. Get emails to keep up with all that is happening.