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Worry and Presence

04 Mar Spiritual Formation | Comments Off on Worry and Presence
Worry and Presence

A Series of Unfortunate Events

Several years ago, what should have been an awesome time with my adult children turned into moments of panic and fear.  We had given them tickets to a Broadway show for Christmas.  The day before we were to go to New York, I looked for the tickets and guess what?  I couldn’t find them.  We were in the midst of a major remodel of our kitchen and that chaotic room was the last place I had seen the tickets.  What a crazy, panicked feeling!  I looked everywhere and couldn’t find them.  After about two hours of searching and worrying, I finally called the box office and they assured me I could still get my family into the theater.

Crisis averted – for now.


Then, on Saturday morning, we left for the train station and, once there, I couldn’t find my driver’s license.  My train ticket said that ID would be required.  I envisioned myself driving back home while my family got on the train to go to New York.  I tore everything out of my purse and finally found my ID. Clutching it with a sigh of deep relief I slumped into my seat.

Guess what?  No one asked for the ID.

Then in New York, there was still plenty more of fretting… did we have enough time for lunch before the show, would we get into the show in time standing in this long line, would I miss any of the show if I braved the long line at the bathroom during intermission, would we make it back to the train station in time to catch our train home?  Notice a pattern here?

Releasing Patterns of Worry to Enjoy Presence

Perhaps you’re like me, finding yourself caught up in repeated moments of worry, fretting about this detail and that, all the while missing what otherwise would be a wonderful moment. If we’re not careful, it can become a lifestyle.

That trip to New York was a lovely day that I allowed to be marred by worrying about everything when there was no need to worry.  Worry is about something in the future that may or may not happen… most times it doesn’t but I, none the less, seem to spend way too much time worrying.


“Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength.” – Corrie ten Boom, Clippings from My Notebook

Worry also means I am living in the future instead of in the present.  That is not how I want to live my life.

Perhaps your prayer can be like mine – to have the awareness to live in the present, to rest in God and know that whatever this day holds, with all of its twists and turns, it is what He has for me.  I want to live in the moment…with Him.

Grace and peace,

Deb Turnow
Executive Director at Kavanna House
Deb Turnow is the Executive Director of Kavanna House, a spiritual formation center in York, Pa. Prior to that role, she was the Director of Spiritual Direction at Living Word Community Church in York. She has a Bachelor Degree in Psychology from York College in Pennsylvania and a M.A. in Spiritual Formation and Leadership from Spring Arbor University. She is also a graduate of the Spiritual Guidance Program at Shalem Institute. She is currently studying at San Francisco Theological Seminary. She is a certified spiritual director and also provides supervision for spiritual directors. She and her husband Jeff, live in York, PA.