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Eric's Sunday Sermon; Worry, Anxiety and Fear

Updated on April 24, 2016

Our beautiful sky

Silver linings
Silver linings | Source

The Natural

There is this strange, sometimes damaging and sometimes glorious need in us to be happy. It is not a good thing when we feel less than happy and get down on ourselves for not being so. It is a good thing when we look at our lives and pull out the good from it and are happy about it. I reckon what I am talking about here is a prelude to joy. A stepping stone to joy or a route to emotional disaster. This striving for happiness is a blessing and a curse.

I am examining this thing we refer to as anxiety. The strangest thing about anxiety is that it is self-proliferating. When one becomes anxious and notices it, that one may focus on the anxiety and it is a snowball rolling downhill effect. It is not uncommon for us to consider – “I am anxious about being anxious”. And then of course that graduates into “I am anxious about being anxious about being anxious and so on and so forth we go”. Anxiety is a problem. It actually is a debilitating condition. It creates a paralysis of action. An inability to move forward. It can be psychologically disabling.

We all have the pangs of anxiety. It is natural. It is a state of being that is instinctual. Part of our finely tuned “fight of flight” condition. I can account for myself that anxiety has halted my progress before and had I proceeded the results would have been clearly disastrous. I say thank God for healthy anxiety. But sometimes that worry and fear make our anxiety grow to unhealthy levels. Is it a lack of faith? Let me confess – in my case it is. It is a separation and distance from a knowingness that God is in control and I need not worry or fear. Well that is a mighty confession so I must also relate that I indeed get anxiety. I have learned not to suffer the anxiety but no matter I suffer the distance that I allow. The anxiety is but a symptom of a lack of connection.

No one really knows what is at the end of the road.

Can I take the road and not worry about where it will take me?
Can I take the road and not worry about where it will take me? | Source

How could I have resisted using this song?

In the moment? Take it easy.

There are many self-help groups that really do help people get better from problems such as being a battered wife to overeating to drug addiction. They are fashioned after the 12 step program contemplated and practiced by Alcoholics Anonymous. One of their wonderful concepts is the idea that God is a “higher power”. This was clearly developed in order to allow folk to kind of start over from their taught notions of God. It is a freeing concept that allows us the latitude in faith to connect to what we really feel about a God. The steps require a connection to this higher power and a surrender of control to a “God of your understanding”. It probably has not helped billions but it for sure has helped 100’s of millions. The theory underlying the notion is a surrender of life over to something greater than ourselves.

Back to anxiety. And make no mistake this is a confession of mine. We take back control. That higher power is not doing it well enough or most often, fast enough. That is a problem of anxiety. When we are in control we do in fact need to worry, fear and fret. We are the ones creating the ultimate outcome and therefore we must be anxious. How about this wonderful concept of “doing the best that we can and letting God handle the rest”? Stop that thought for a moment and consider the alternative. Doing the best we can and we are in control of the result. Well that is enough to make us anxious right there.

If we get into this whole notion of living in the moment we find some relief over fear and worry about the past and the future. But let us be realistic. If we have an appointment at 10 am then we have to get ready and leave for it at 9:00 am or we will miss it. You cannot be so in the moment that you do not plan for future events. Take the writing of this sermon. It must be somewhat planned from beginning to end or it would just be a series of standalone in the moment sentences – or just words that come at one second intervals. Yes even the speaking or writing of a sentence requires some concept of the past and the future. One word must follow another and precede another. I point this out so that we do not go down a purist’s notion of being in the moment to an extreme. I like to say I am in the moment thinking about the next moment.

Connect and create your own sunshine.

Today is a new day all day long

Write your own happiness
Write your own happiness | Source

Lean on your faith

Now all that in the moment stuff relates to worry, fear and resulting anxiety. There is absolutely nothing that we can do about anticipating a coming event. So how do we anticipate a coming event? Do we dread it? Are we excited about it? No one who has been around a while has not realized that sometimes we are happy and excited about an event coming that turns out to be horrible. And the same goes for events that we were anxious and worried about that turned out to be just great. And how we anticipated the two made almost no difference in the outcome. But that brings us to the outcome caused by worry, anxiety and fear. Another confession: I have actually contemplated a negative event so strongly that I have affected the outcome of the event. I visualized a negative so hard that it was impossible for me to see the positive which on retrospect was in fact there.

But here is the good news. I have also anticipated the good so hard that I just could not receive the negative in an event. And that brings us back to our connection with God. I know God is great. I know God loves me. And I know that God based outcomes are good. If I let go of my projections onto future events and surrender them to God then I know that even if I cannot see it immediately that the event turned out good. So I can anticipate only the good.

Call this a faith based anti-anxiety medication. And this one in my case is experienced based. I have a good life. I in fact love my life. Well in the past to get to this point God has been present. So why would God not be present in the future? Now there have been numerous times in my life that things have not turned out well. But I can actually state here with some certainty that those times were when I lost that connection and faith in the God.

Is it a connection with God or an attitude? Is it God actually working or is it just me looking for the good. Interesting question that I have grappled with forever, since I understood a little bit about the human mind. And then through travels and witnessing much life it came to me that it does not matter and yet it is the same. If you are looking for God then look no further than this concept that when we look to the good of God that is what we find. There God is. In the change in your heart and your perception is where God is. When we break ourselves down and just relax in love, we are one with God. We in fact are part of God and so on and so on.

Interesting thing of note. As I finish this sermon up for publication I am a bit anxious about whether it is good enough. Will I ever learn?

Carry on

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    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 16 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Hello my friend -- can you imagine, your comment just came to my attention. You have the right idea -- smile and laugh and all the bad stuff disappears. I must do it even more often.

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 18 months ago from london

      Anxiety or anxieties. Ha ha. I can make it now...the pain is gone ...the bad feelings have disappeared ...it's going to be a bright sunshiny day. Right videos bro...blue skies ... Ha ha. Charming songs, excellent Hub.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 18 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thanks Lawrence. I just love it when I get an amen.

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 18 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Amen to that

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 18 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Cool. I fly straight ahead. Better I watch the horizon. It changes and so must I. Thank God.

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 18 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Eric

      Your last sentence gave me a smile! It's true we never know how our words are going to be received, but that's often the issue of where the receiver is at!

      John Maxwell has a saying "Attitude governs altitude"

      Ina plane the pilot controls the plane by trimming the 'attitude' of the plane, keeping it level keeps the plane level, if you want to climb you've also got to increase power, if you don't the plane stalls and you plummet!

      Great hub

      Lawrence

      PS good attitude gives the altitude!

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 19 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thank you Theresa, it is great to hear from you. I hope that your family health issues turn for the better. We have some around here like cancer but the love is beating those worries back. Wonderful what you add here about the perfect love. It is so true.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 19 months ago from southern USA

      Hi Dear Eric,

      I always enjoy reading the wisdom you share via your writing here and through your life experiences. I'm sorry I have not been able to be on HubPages much here of late due to a lot of family health issues going on, but I know God is in control and I don't have to get stressed about these life circumstances. It is so ironic that you have written on this topic of fear and anxiety as I have one in the wings that may compliment this one of your's well, possibly.

      I'm reminded of the wonderful scripture of truth, "Perfect love casts out fear." When we know of that perfect love (God's love of course is the only "perfect" love I know of), then the fear fades away and we are left with His amazing love.

      I hope to catch up on my reading soon.

      I am keeping you and your family in my prayers.

      Hugs and much love to you and yours this lovely Sunday,

      Theresa

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 19 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Linda I just reread your comment in contemplation. Very good thoughts indeed.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 19 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Sorry to hear of your loss Dana. There really are physiologic factors when it comes to the type of stress we give ourselves. Thank you for the reminder.

    • Dana Tate profile image

      Dana Tate 19 months ago from LOS ANGELES

      One of my ex-co workers had a stroke and she is only forty-eight. I try not to worry I just tell myself "this too shall pass" sometimes it even works.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 19 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Wait maybe if I told her you said that she might actually read some of my stuff -- nah too complicated.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 19 months ago from Shelton

      LOL.. funny but mums the word so mull away

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 19 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thank you much Frank. Good friends that drop by on Wednesdays and leave a note of encouragement, go a long ways toward lessoning life's anxiety's.

      I will have to mull the Olsteenish reference -- do not tell my wife she just adores the guy.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 19 months ago from Shelton

      Eric what a very sound sermon.. and I so agree with the introduction.. this was as Olsteenish as a hub can get.. Love your Wednesday.. err I mean Sunday sermons my friend..:)

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 19 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thank you Denise it is always great to hear from you. Breathing and prayer is a good combination that usually works if we can remember to practice them.

    • denise.w.anderson profile image

      Denise W Anderson 19 months ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

      That is the irony of anxiety. The more we think about it, the more anxious we get! I have been having issues with asthma lately. I use deep breathing to help control my anxiety. When the asthma flares up, my anxiety increases, and when my anxiety increases, my asthma gets worse! It is a vicious cycle! The only way to combat it is to focus on my relationship with God, and look to him to calm my heart, then the asthma is less, and I can breathe more easily. My anxiety decreases, and I am able to function normally.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 19 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thanks John, that patience concept sure is a lifesaver in times of turmoil. Most certainly if we are in tune with God's time our lives go a lot better.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 19 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Firstly, Eric, this sermon is plenty good enough and the songs you chose were just perfect. I have been struggling with this very thing recently. A couple of situations have occurred where I tried to control the situation and outcome on my own and became anxious and stressed because they seemed beyond me. I couldn't see a quick or satisfactory outcome. My wife was the calming influence and convinced me to calm down and let it work itself out (or rely on God's intervention). I realised that my stressing would not help the situation and once I calmed down...an answer did in fact appear. It is easy to get impatient and feel that God is moving too slow...but he will act or provide the answer when the time is right. Have a great day/week.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 19 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      ChitrangadaSharan you are compassionate in your reading and sharing. Yes indeed this was written in some part by experience. Quite often I experience something and look into it and find that others may experience it also. We are blessed to have faith and each other.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 19 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Devika it is clear from your writing that you truly embrace the good in life. Thanks for coming by and sharing it here.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 19 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Hari, thank you that was lovely. I feel grateful that you took the time to add such wonderful thoughts to my humble sermon. I will carry your words with me today. Thank you again.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 19 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Ruby I just finished with my prayers, reading and meditation. I realize that I got things to worry about, but the worry is optional. At least for this part of the day I will leave that worry up to God and go do as I can best figure God directs. (at least for the next few hours I hope ;-)

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 19 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Dora I was speaking with a good and learned man regarding the subject of anxiety and his belief was that we should try, in a way, to hug our anxiety and make peace with it rather than try to get rid of it. It is a reminder for us to embrace who we are and give thanks.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 19 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thank you much JG. As the prayers are working in our lives. It means so very much to have a wonderful comment and message such as yours. We are truly blessed to have faith.

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 19 months ago from New Delhi, India

      Great Sunday Sermon as always, but somehow while going through this hub, I can feel that you are a bit anxious. This is quite natural as life has many ups and downs and we as humans have to deal with them as 'part of life.'

      It is the 'faith' --that is the guiding factor which helps us sail through the journey called life. Have 'faith' and leave the rest to 'him.'

      Thanks for sharing and may God bless you abundantly !

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 19 months ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      I try not to worry what more cold affect me than what has already caused me so much negative in some parts of my life. I embrace each day.

    • shprd74 profile image

      Hari Prasad S 19 months ago from Bangalore

      Fear and anxiety are natural instincts that save us from physical destruction when we see danger. But, the self inflicted, assumed dangers are most destructive and undetectable, to know that is infact the first lesson one has to learn, and then comes the questioning part. If the questions that are asked are not supported with an open heart the anxiety overtakes. The fact that one has to open up either by speaking it out via confession or by writing and sharing is good enough a solution to all. But one has to be fearless. I see most people are afraid to open up. That is something dangerous.

      Once a person does opens up to himself fearlessly, he can get to the next path of selflessness and a learning path.

      - Hari

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 19 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Yes, your sermon is good enough. Every time I write anything, I always wonder, is it good enough? I think feeling anxious is a part of life, but worrying can really get one down and usually what we were worrying about, never happened. Learning to let God take control is the key, I'm working on that daily. Our minister wore a purple tie today in honor of Prince. I liked that. Thank you for always lifting my spirit.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 19 months ago from The Caribbean

      "Thank God for healthy anxiety!" I second the motion. It up to us how we deal with and what we get from it.

      "Is it a connection with God or an attitude?" One influences the other.

      Thanks for the happy feeling I get from reading your article.

    • JG Hemlock profile image

      JG Hemlock 19 months ago from VISIONS AND DREAMS

      God is always there and you are in His connected works because you are His. He has it all under control. I connect with God and you often in the past month or more. (I pray to Yeshua out loud for you and a miracle healing that makes you-your wife and cute son dance in the California sunshine like nobody's business but God's business praising Him for all He will do in your midst over your lovely body. ) Shalom, JG God is there always! :)

    • Carb Diva profile image

      Linda Lum 19 months ago from Washington State, USA

      Eric - This reminds me of what I said to you in response to your March 1 sermon "Get the Passion and Keep the Love."

      I don't think it's a matter of not having faith. All of us have that little voice of doubt that creeps in once in a while--sometimes it's a momentary flutter and other times it's a full-blown gut-wrenching panic. Fear is not a totally bad thing unless you allow it to consume you. What (you might wonder) is good about fear? I think it comes from passion. Do you have a fear of failing at something that doesn't matter to you? Do you fear losing something (or someone) that you don't care about? Of course not.

      Don't fear the fear.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 19 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Wow you sure are making a change. I am happy for you. Thank you for being such a great supporter and friend. Truly you make the moment.

    • ahorseback profile image

      ahorseback 19 months ago

      Hey Buddy , I often remember the days as a kid , not even knowing what anxiety was while suffering greatly from it . Oh well ," Live in the moment "...........Love that one and "I can see clearly now "! I have pretty much just retired from working and am gaining a whole new insight on living in the moment ! just got to sel the house now so we can live on the road , I was looking at your photo " Can I take the road and not worry about where it ends ?" Yes sir-ry !..........:-} Thank you for this !

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 19 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thank you Alison that means a whole lot to me. It brightens my day and outlook.

    • alison monroe profile image

      Alison Monroe 19 months ago

      Eric, it's plenty good enough. I read it first thing this morning and it's just what I needed, including the pictures. Thank you for keeping on writing.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 19 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thanks Bill, I know just where you are coming from. Sometimes we forget just how much we can handle.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 19 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thank you much friend for your thoughtful contribution to this sermon. Trying for that peace of mind is a good place to be.

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      Bill Holland 19 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Bev is the worrier in our family. I'm the "rain off a duck's back" guy. I've seen hell so there's nothing to worry about here on earth....just sayin'

      Happy Sunday my friend!

    • Harishprasad profile image

      Harish Mamgain 19 months ago from India

      Eric, sometime we create beauty out of something. The same thing looks pleasing to us, but others find it as insipid. The thing itself is something else, but we make it or mould it to suit our taste or to satiate our instinct. The same applies to our beliefs or our faith. One guy finds serene peace and solace having a certain belief, the other is blissful in materialistic living. The end of the road is unknown to both of them. The true essence is something else, but what we ultimately need is a peace of mind. Today, you brought forth serenity in my heart and mind through this sunday sermon, and that's all what I crave for and am earnest about. The song " don't worry, be happy " is so soothing. This is a popular song. Thank you very much.