I was on the road the other day and saw a car up ahead with student driver signs on both sides, on the roof, and on the back. I gave wide berth to that car, because I knew they didn’t know what they were doing yet. And sure enough, as they were driving along, they stopped for no apparent reason. I give student drivers a lot of space because they’re still figuring it out.
But after we’ve been driving awhile, we may find ourselves eating a burrito, talking on the phone, and adjusting the radio, all at the same time. I don’t recommend this, of course. But the idea is that driving comes naturally to us because we’ve taught ourselves to do it. It becomes a conditioned reflex.
Then there are natural reflexes. If we touch something hot, we immediately pull back. We don’t have to teach this, even to a toddler. They know that when they touch something hot, it hurts.
When it comes to worry, we need to develop a conditioned reflex. We need to turn our worries into prayers. When something alarming or threatening comes our way, our natural reflex is to panic. The conditioned reflex—the biblical response, I might add—is to pray.
The apostle Paul wrote, “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done” (Philippians 4:6 NLT). Notice that he tells us to pray about everything—not just the big, scary things. Everything.
God is interested in big things. God is interested in little things. And sometimes little things turn into big things rather quickly, don’t they? Little problems can suddenly become big problems. God is interested in whatever concerns you. So the next time you’re tempted to worry, pray instead.