Don’t Worry, She Said.

                After tennis I hurried into the grocery store to pick up fixin’s for dinner – a surprise dinner for my dearest friend. Despite it being barely 50 degrees outside, I was stinky! I wanted to get in and out and home quickly. Alas it was not meant to be. With a Hawks’ game tomorrow and Thanksgiving a few days ahead, the store was packed. Since I can’t do anything in a linear fashion, I was all over the store. I was nearly done when I got stuck behind an elderly lady pushing a big, mostly empty cart. I wheeled around her and she caught my eye. “I can’t find the cookies,” she declared.
                I looked at the signs and said, “They are two more aisles down.” Her eyes remained fixed on me.  “They are just two more down, I’ll take you there.”
                We made it to the cookies and she began to talk, “You know, I’m 93-years old. I have 50 grand kids.”
                “Wow, that’s an amazing life.”
                “The secret is to not worry. You will always get what you need and things will work out. Just don’t worry.” We chatted for a few minutes about life and worry and why we shouldn’t and what cures it.  Eight kids, 23 great grand kids – a legacy she proudly described.
                “I’m not sure if I was supposed to populate the world so much, but it’s what I did.”
                Ninety-three-years old.  Double my life and add 11 more years. Few of us can only be so lucky. 
                As I checked out, I could hear her in the aisle next to me, telling the same story.
                Worry isn’t my greatest fault. I’ve discovered its antidote: planning and faith. I read somewhere that you can’t have both worry and faith, it confuses God. So, I chose faith.
                In its own way and in the right time, God will provide you everything you need. And if you can’t find what you’re looking for – say cookies for example – a step toward the solution will come. When I look back on my life, I see the path that landed me right here. Many moments of doubt, anger and angst sit behind me. They also sit ahead of me, I’m no fool to think otherwise. But when I take a deep breath and declare I am lost, it’s not worry that fills me. It’s faith.
                This week professionally was very difficult. Since I can’t tell you the details, I’ll share this with you. I found myself having to lead four difficult conversations. I am a people pleaser; I don’t have difficult conversations. But I decided no more. It was time to face issues head-on. Leading up to the interactions, I reminded myself that I have prepared and am prepared to navigate the opposition. God did not bring me this far to leave me.
                He did not bring me two aisles from the cookies only to leave me empty handed. When you allow worry to consume you, you’re unable to clearly see the solutions. You can’t ask for help. You confuse those around you and yourself.
                “Don’t worry,” said the 93-year-old stranger, completely unprovoked. “Don’t worry,” she said with a kind smile. 

Don’t worry. Be kind. Smile. If you’re lost, don’t worry. If someone is lost, help them. Because as it turns out, helping others find their cookies is a sweet reward.


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