Grace to you!
In today’s reflection, I focus on overcoming unnecessary anxieties.
You have imaginations, don’t you? Imagination is one of our most powerful mental tools or faculties. Through imagination, we can push the limits of a present situation to a far-distant time. Through it, we can also draw closer to us what could be tomorrow.
Imagination is strength, because a positive, optimistic imagination brings a sort of mental satisfaction which food and drink cannot provide. Consider feeding the mind with its food, namely, thoughts. Thoughts, your thoughts, are the food of the mind and they are expressed partly through imagination.
Daydreaming is a form of imagination also. Though it is wishy-washy, it fills your mental state with a kind of satisfaction, an elixir one would say.
Imagining what you would become in years to come, especially when things are working according to plan, brings momentary joy that keeps you going, doesn’t it?
How about the Christian hope in life eternal? Imagination is an aspect of hope. We hope in life eternal and we imagine what that life would be—eternal peace, joy, enduring happiness, the profound beauty of the Blessed Trinity. Name it.
Imagination feels like making real what is yet to come. In that sense, imagination is joyful. Imagination is peaceful. Imagination is soothing.
However, when imagination is filled with negative stuff, it could be our nemesis. Consider a child who imagines all the time that his parents’ home would catch fire and everything burned down. The child lives in this fear and would definitely, constantly be scared of being in that house.
Or consider the imagination which many of us had when we were younger. Say, imagining crossing the sidewalk and a speeding car hits us. Or being in the theater and a deranged fanatic opens fire on all in the theater. Such an imagination could stop one from going to the movies, could it not?
I know a few friends who have not been on pilgrimage to Jerusalem because of the “imagined fear” that a terrorist could strike anytime. I know also some people who do not drive because of memories of ghastly accident when they were young.
When one has negative imaginations, they bring a lot of anxiety. Negative imagination about what the future holds in terms of how to provide food on the table, buy a home or pay off a mortgage, pay off a credit card or debt, pay off school loans, provide health insurance, and similar concerns, could cause us a lot of anxiety.
Unfortunately, these anxieties won’t help us, nor will they solve our problem. Instead, they would affect our health. As the Lord Jesus asked, “And which of you by being anxious can add one cubit to his span of life?” (Matthew 6:27)
I love the security advertisement that says something like this: “Why have a security camera that alerts you about thieves but wouldn’t protect you from them?” Why burden yourself with anxieties when they can’t change your condition? Why suffer anxiety in addition to the ongoing situation of need?
It’s healthy to change the negative imagination with a positive one. A crucial part of this positive imagination is based on what Jesus said— “Trust in Providence.”
“Therefore, do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Let the day’s own trouble be sufficient for the day” (Matthew 6:34).
Let the problem be. Trust God. Have faith. One step at a time is always a good attitude.
God love you. God bless you.
Fr. Maurice Emelu
[Saturday, Ordinary Time: 2 Chronicles 24:17-25; Matthew 6:24-34]
Fr. Maurice Emelu, Ph.D.
Father Maurice provides a daily blog of reflections based on the bible readings of the day from the Catholic liturgical calendar. You will find these reflections helpful for your spiritual growth, inspiration and developing your own thoughts. It may also be helpful for ministers in preparing their sermons for liturgical celebrations.