By Douglas Cramer
There’s a phrase I like that sums up our life in the modern world: “We all wear many hats.” It’s true – we do. Time management gurus like Steven Covey encourage us to structure our schedules according to the different roles we play, the different hats we wear – spouse, parent, child, worker, householder, friend, athlete, volunteer. But here’s what’s great about the phrase “many hats” – if we think about it, it reminds us that even though we wear many hats, there’s one person, the same person, underneath each of them.
You know what’s wrong about focusing on our hats instead of the person underneath? It can lead us to fall in to a dangerous sin – the sin of anxiety. You may not think of anxiety as a sin. But Jesus Christ teaches us that anxiety leads us away from Him, and from our salvation. And whatever separates us from God is sinful. We must overcome anxiety and worry. And thank God, the Scriptures and the teachings of our Church teach us how.
Let me tell you though one thing that makes me anxious – the statistics on anxiety in America! According to the National Institute of Mental Health, 1 in 8 Americans between 18 and 54 have been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. That’s 20 million people! Anxiety is the number one mental health problem for women, and second only to drug and alcohol abuse for men. Anxiety is the most common mental health problem in America, more common than even depression.
Now Ben Franklin once said: “Do not anticipate trouble or worry about what may never happen. Keep in the sunlight.” Keep in the sunlight. And as Christians, don’t we know the source of the True Light? And don’t we know that we can learn to live in that Light?