On our family farm, there was this old barn.
We used it to store stuff. Things we didn’t use very often.
When I was growing up, it seemed like there were always wasps hanging around that barn. Building their nests high up in the eaves. Where we couldn’t get to them.
They didn’t bother me much. Because my grandfather told me how to deal with them.
Don’t open the door if the wasps are close by.
Wait ‘til the wasps aren’t hanging around the door. Then go in quickly. And make sure you shut it behind you.
So that’s what I did. And it worked just fine.
Until it didn’t. Until the day that I opened the door. And was greeted by a cloud of wasps. Inside the barn.
When I opened the door, it must have stirred them up. They were noisy. They were everywhere.
And I - was gone. I hightailed it out of there. I didn’t wait around to find out what they would do next.
I don’t know those wasps got inside. We were always careful about keeping the barn closed up. But they found a way in. And when they did, it was a mess.
Kind of like the troubles in our life. They work the same way. If we can keep them on the outside, we can handle them. Sure, they’re a bother. But they’re nothing we can’t deal with.
When we let the troubles in life get on our inside, it’s just like when the wasps get inside. It’s a mess.
But it’s hard not to let the troubles in life get on our inside.
There are so many things in life that are just hanging around the door, waiting to get in.
The relative whose health is failing. The friend that ghosted you. The class that you’re struggling in. The boss that’s out to get you. The spouse that barely treats you like a human being. The car that never stays fixed.
And that’s just part of the list. All of them, things that would upset anybody. All of them, waiting to get in.
Waiting to get in and steal your peace.
Our problem? We’ve got a habit of leaving the door open. Truly, some of us don’t even know there is a door.
So all that stuff, just comes right in. When we let that happen, we let our circumstances dictate our peace.
When we let our circumstances dictate our peace, we will get peace. But it won’t last. When we let everything come in, we’ll never have more than a moment of peace.
When we let our circumstances dictate our peace, any peace we do have will be fleeting. The kind of peace that shrivels up and blows away. When the next thing comes in.
When we let our circumstances dictate our peace, we spend our lives going from worry to worry. Not even enjoying those fleeting moments of peace. Because we know they won’t last.
Living that way is frustrating, and then some. That lack of peace, that life of worry, takes a toll on us.
It’s what Jesus is talking about when He asks, “which of you by worrying can add one day to your life?”
Worrying is work. Hard work. Hard work that gives you absolutely nothing in return.