Everything is Going to be All Right

A young child is exploring the world around her.  She had just began to walk on her own, still unsteady on her feet.  The colorful and shiny objects strewn across the living room floor delight her.  As she bends to pick up the last thing that captures her attention, she wobbles, and lands on her back side with a soft thud.  She is startled by her fall more than anything else.  The smile on her face quickly turns into a frown.  She takes a deep breath, and lets out a silent wail.  Mom and dad are on the floor watching her every move.  They smile at each other knowing their little girl had suffered no real harm.  Mom quietly moves across the floor behind her and with a soothing voice calls her name.  She turns to see her mother’s face and reaches out at once.  The words mean nothing but she knows she is safe.  “Everything will be all right.”

A high school student is sitting in the back seat of a squad car while the officer walks to the door of the residence in a nice quiet neighborhood.  It is close to midnight.  He rings the doorbell and tells the couple who answer the door that their son had been picked up at a local nightspot.  He had been drinking with his buddies and got involved in a brawl.  The young man’s parents remain standing on the front porch as the officer returns to the squad car.  He opens the door and helps the young man to his feet.  He is thoroughly embarrassed.  The words mean nothing to him.  He knows there will be consequences in the morning, but he is glad to be home.  “Everything will be all right.”

A woman is balancing her family’s check book.  She is afraid there won’t be enough for rent this month.  She had just been laid off her job with housekeeping at the big name hotel chain downtown, a job she had held for more than fifteen years.  Her husband works as an auto mechanic but business is slow, and it didn’t help that he still complains of his knee injury from a bad fall on the ice two months ago.  With a son in college and another still in high school, she would have to find another job quickly.  Anything would do.  In the meantime, she would swallow her pride and stop by the food bank to pick up whatever was available.  She sits in the back of church every Sunday anxiously hoping she would find comfort.  She wants so badly to believe the words, but they ring hollow every time.  “Everything will be all right.”

A man is sitting with his wife in the waiting room of his doctor’s office.  He had felt a dull pain in his chest for some weeks now, but had not wanted to see the doctor.  He kept insisting he had just pulled a muscle.  But as he sat by his wife that morning, many thoughts raced through his mind, many questions, and not enough answers.  She stroked his hand gently while leaning on his shoulder and whispering quietly.  She, too, feared the worst, but was trying not to think it.  They were always honest about their fears, but they did not know how to handle this.  He was thinking of the grandchildren.  When the receptionist called his name, he bit his lip.  The words were difficult to believe but he wanted to hear them.  As he rose from his chair, he closed his eyes and prayed the most sincere prayer he had ever prayed all his life.  “Everything will be all right.”

So what do you worry about?  What keeps you up at night?  I have come to the conclusion some time ago that I should stop worrying about things I have no control over – the weather, the war, terrorism, unrest in the Middle East, nuclear weapons in Iran and North Korea, the national debt, cancer, other people’s bad decisions, Lindsay Lohan and Charlie Sheen, partisan politics, church politics, why people don’t go to confession much anymore, why the ushers are running around in the back of church while I’m giving my homily …  At some point, I have to realize I can only do something about some things.  The rest, I have to trust that God is in charge and will bring about the fulfillment of his will. Sometimes God will need my participation, sometimes I will only get in the way.  Where I know I can do something positive, I am willing to accept my role.  I will speak and contribute my efforts and resources.  I will share my skill, my understanding, my perspective.  But I do not make other people’s choices, and cannot take responsibility for their actions.  I can do my best to help them see what I see.  I will try to provide good example.  And when I make mistakes, I am willing to apologize and help repair the damage I have done.  But worrying about what I cannot control or affect will only lead to frustration and resentment and ulcers.  Choose your battles, I have been told once.  If I have to fight every single one, it’s because I think there is no one else fighting with or for me.  But if I am convinced God truly cares about me, I need to trust that God will be working on my behalf.

“Can a mother forget her infant,
 be without tenderness for the child of her womb?
 Even should she forget, 
I will never forget you.”  When people worry about what they are to wear, it is often they have too many clothes.  If you have too many clothes, try worrying about those who have none.  Concern yourself with the kingdom of God, Jesus tells us, and all things will fall into their proper place.  If we take care of God’s concerns, God will take care of us.  And you’ve got to believe it, “everything will be all right.”