Picture taken from: https://driversprep.com/when-you-see-deer-crossing-the-road/
She sat behind the wheel of her car with the engine running in her driveway. Her hands were on the wheel, 10 and 2, knuckles turning slightly white from the pressure.
“What if I hit a deer too?” she thought. “What if I swerve and go off the road and roll my car and die? Or, what if I hit the deer straight on and do a lot of damage to my car? I HAVE to have a car to drive to work! I don’t have enough money to get a new car and my insurance isn’t that great. Or what if I am badly injured? I HATE hospitals!”
Panic, fear, and worry had taken over her mind ever since she got the call that the third person in her immediate family had hit a deer in the last week. She considered herself a good driver, but with deer on rural roads, it didn’t matter if you were a good driver or not, damage could still be done. She had just heard a story on the radio where an insurance adjuster suggested that more accidents and injuries were caused by people swerving to miss a deer or other animal in the road. Swerving often times causes people to lose control and go off the road, possibly rolling the car. Just hitting the animal would still do damage to the car, but could avoid other, more serious consequences.
“What if I can’t think that fast and I swerve anyway and roll my car?” Anxiety and fear seemed to have her frozen in her running car, unable to back out of the driveway. “What if I swerve and hit another car? I could not only hurt myself, but someone else!”
Our “what ifs” can paralyze us, can’t they? The person in this story sounds a little overly dramatic, but we do this kind of thinking all the time. Worrying comes in all shapes and sizes, from how we are going to pay the bills, get good grades, avoid health issues, or find someone to marry, to more serious ones like weapons of mass destruction, world wars and the end of the world itself.
Jesus asked his disciples, “Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” – Matthew 6:27 As usual, the wisdom of Jesus can speak to us even today. Worrying and trying to avoid the troubles that are surely going to come only gives us wrinkles and ulcers. It does nothing to stop the troubles.
Perhaps the suggestion of hitting a problem head on instead of swerving to miss it is also good advice. In the past, I have run from confrontation. I hate to upset people and have tried everything I can think of to avoid hard situations. Yes, I even worry about causing other to worry!
In hindsight though, avoiding the problem NEVER makes it go away and usually makes it worse. Like a swerving car, I tend to get myself out of control trying to avoid or fix a problem without really dealing it with it first. While Jesus said that worrying doesn’t help, he told us what to do instead.
“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” – Matthew 6:33-34
So, instead of sitting paralyzed behind the wheel, afraid to pull out of the driveway, the woman in the story above should just say a little prayer, let go of the worry and the “what ifs,” hit the accelerator and drive on down the road.
There will always be deer on the road. There will always be trouble. Trusting God to take care of you is hard, but it is better than letting worry paralyze you. Trusting can bring you peace.