Worry Wart
I lift up my eyes to the hills—from where will my help come? My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth.
—Psalm 121:1–2 (NRSV)
MARILYN PAGÁN-BANKS | I am what you would call a “worry wart.” I worry. A lot.
So, instead of giving up chocolate for Lent (which is hard for a chocoholic like me), I
decided to give up worrying.
But not worrying is hard!
I mean, come on, there is so much to worry about every single day. Families facing hunger and poverty, veterans living on the streets, loved ones gunned down, community members struggling with mental illness, addiction and trauma ruining lives and wiping out dreams. The list is endless.
Even as I write this devotion, my phone won’t stop buzzing with frantic texts from my daughter fighting with a customer that is giving her the run around for work they haven’t paid her for, while she is desperately trying to makes plans to travel to be with her dying father.
How can I not worry? I care too much not to!
If I stop worrying will people start to think I don’t care? Should I be worried about this? Agh! It is so easy to spiral out of control.
Maybe this is why the psalmist starts with a moment of perspective outside of herself. Not expecting answers from the hills, but finding clarity in asking the question out loud. The bold beauty of the hills reminding her of God’s power and presence around her and within her.
PRAYER Gracious God, I turn to you this Lenten season seeking to be delivered from the lie that caused me to believe that if I don’t worry it means I don’t care. You are the source of my peace. I trust you and I rejoice in knowing that you are with me even when life is hard. Amen.About the Writer:
MARILYN PAGÁN-BANKS serves as Pastor of San Lucas UCC, Executive Director of A Just Harvest, and Adjunct Professor at McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago.

Source: “Running from Empty” | 2023 Lent Devotional by the Stillspeaking Writers’ Group, made up of United Church of Christ ministers and writers who collaborate on resources for people in the church, outside the church, and not sure about the church.