Join us in TEMPE every Sunday morning at 8:50 for Sacred Space or 10:00 for our traditional service.

My grandmother was a wonderful influence in my life in my growing up years. Remembering her as she sat in her rocking chair reading her Bible, dressed from morning to night like she was meeting the Queen of England, always ready to stop whatever she was doing to answer my questions, knitting and crocheting and cooking – these are my memories.

However, my Nana had another quality – she worried – and I inherited that quality. I am really not happy about this. The more I worry, the more I worry that my faith in God is not enough. And the cycle begins all over again.

During these past several weeks when I was not feeling myself, I wondered if I would ever get to feel joy again. Will my body and my mind recover? Will I be able to help others again? What can I learn from this experience?

First, I have learned that Jesus asks us not to worry about tomorrow’s worries because the concerns we have for today will be quite enough! Don’t be distracted with more than I can handle.

Secondly, Barbara Brown Taylor tells us that we need darkness in order to see the light. “I have learned things in the dark that I could never have learned in the light, things that have saved my life over and over again.” Stop with the self-judgment. God is always with me.

And, finally, these words, “I Worried” by Mary Oliver, speak to my heart:

I worried a lot. Will the garden grow, will the rivers flow in the right direction, 

will the earth turn as it was taught, and if not how shall I correct it?

Was I right, was I wrong, will I be forgiven, can I do better?

Will I ever be able to sing, even the sparrows can do it and I am, well, hopeless…

Finally, I saw that worrying had come to nothing.

And gave it up. And took my old body and went out into the morning,

and sang.

We thank God for Mary Oliver. And if you ever want to talk with someone who loves to listen, and seeks to understand, please let me know.

Prayerfully, joyfully, and still a little worried (which is ok),

Pastor Shirley