Some people suffer from a condition known as Restless Leg Syndrome. It is an uncontrollable urge to move one’s legs. It can be very troubling, especially at night when one is trying to sleep. Many more people suffer from a Restless Soul. They believe they need something else or someone else or that they need to be somewhere else or be doing something else. No matter what they do, they cannot remain content. While RLS is generally a physical problem, a restless soul is a spiritual problem. St. Augustine wrote, “Our souls are restless until we find our rest in Thee.” But, even when we have come to God, placed our faith in Him decided to walk with Him, we sometimes struggle with contentment. In Paul’s letter to the Philippians he wrote, “I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content.” Wow. Whether he was poor and in prison or fully funded and on the road, Paul was content. His contentment was not based on his circumstances; it was rooted in Christ. Some religions and/or philosophies teach that the path to contentment is the negation of desire. That is not the way of Christianity. Some of our desires should be negated but many of them are simply misplaced. To be human is to have desires. The Scripture guides us toward correct desires and teaches us how to find contentment even when those desires are not fully met. More on that in the conclusion to the letter to the Philippians.
Long, long ago, in 1988 , Bobby McFerrin sang a song titled, Don’t Worry, Be Happy. The tune was catchy but the lyrics were completely without substance, including a lot of “ooh, ooh, oohs.” Like a lot of happy songs, including, The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow, the optimism is not rooted in anything more than faith in faith. There is no objective reason to be happy in songs of that nature. To aspire to happiness is common, but some of us need more than a happy tune based on an empty admonition. In contrast, Jesus told us not to worry and gave us some good objective reasons to overcome the anxious cares that often debilitate us. Paul expanded on the teaching of Jesus and, under the inspiration of the Spirit, gave a prescription for peace. Lord willing, we’ll take a look at it on Sunday. Are you choked with worry? Does anxiety rob you of life? Is fear robbing you of the enjoyment of God’s blessings? Read ahead in Philippians 4. God has a better way to live and wants to meet you right in the hard places of your concerns. It’s been written, that on average, only about 8% of what we worry about is of any legitimate concern. Think about that! Perhaps up to 92% of the things that are weighing you down today are of no legitimate concern. For those that are legitimate, God has a path toward peace. One that has worked for many and will work for you. “Do not worry!”