Did you hear about the clock that had a nervous breakdown? One day it began thinking about how often it would have to tick during the coming year. Figuring two ticks a second, 120 a minute, 7,200 each hour, 172,800 a day, and 1,209,600 ticks every week, the clock suddenly realized it would have to tick nearly 63 million times during the next twelve months! The more it thought about this, the more anxious it became. The clock became so distraught that it suffered a nervous collapse.
Confiding in a psychiatrist, the clock confessed that it did not have strength to tick that often. The doctor responded, “How many ticks must you tick at a time?” The clock answered, “Only one.” “Well,” replied the doc, “simply tick one tick at a time and don’t worry about the next, and you’ll be fine.”
How often do you do the same? Whether it is worry about your next heartbeat or the next day, you could expend your entire energies in worrying about the many problems ahead. When normal concern becomes anxious tension, the problem has the best of us. Matthew put it this way in his gospel, “Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things.” (Matt. 6:34) Learn to take “one tick at a time.” Neither the problems nor the circumstances will change because you worry.
A missionary living in the midst of a war-torn country was known to say, “If you worry, you die. If you don’t worry, you die. So why worry?” Worry cannot make things better; it can only make you worse. Let the problems run their course. They, too, will “come to pass” if you just take one thing at a time.
The Apostle Peter had good counsel for an anxious heart: “Cast your care on HIM, for He cares for you.” (I Pet. 5:7) Peter was a fisherman. He knew the theory of casting nets. He threw the nets as far as he could into the deepest waters. That is exactly what he was admonishing us to do with our cares, our anxieties and our worries. Throw them out – as far as you can towards God. Your Heavenly Father cares for you and knows your every need. He will meet you where you are as you learn to trust. Some may cling to false securities or forget the instructions He has left for us to follow. Everyone makes occasional blunders and begins to worry about how many ‘ticks’ I have left. But when those times of distress come, be careful not to give in to anxiety. See it for what it is. It is an ‘opportunity’ to call, cast, and cling.
Live one day, one tick, at a time. The future will come no matter how much you worry, but it can only come one day at a time. That is enough for you to know. Call out for Heaven’s help; cast your cares towards the Father; then cling to that hope of faith in Him alone.