Like many of you, I have been in quarantine for a few weeks now, and, again, like many of you, I have been watching quite a bit of TV. One film I watched taught me a couple of unexpected lessons about anxiety.
I watched the documentary 2016 World Series Champions: Chicago Cubs.
Seeking for nostalgia while all major sports are cancelled, I ordered this documentary on a digital platform at 3AM. I’m not 100 percent sure what I was thinking. I usually don’t make purchases like that.
But, I’m glad I did buy it because my anxiety about this COVID-19 pandemic was exposed.
I thought I could share with you the lessons I learned.
Anxiety Weighs You Down and Wastes Your Life
This lesson may seem obvious, but we quickly become anxious. We don’t need much to become riddled with anxiety. Anxiety rushes in whenever we face trials, big or small.
As I watched the documentary, I found myself feeling anxious. My breathing became shallow, every time something the Cleveland Indians scored a run. I started nervously fidgeting with each Cubs strikeout. When the Cubs were down 3-1 in the World Series I found myself feeling heavy, like their was a weight on my back.
I caught myself and remembered Proverbs 12:25, which says,
Anxiety in a person’s heart weighs it down, but a good word cheers it up.
And, almost simultaneously, I remembered the first I ever memorized, Matthew 6:27. It says.
Can any of you add one moment to his life span by worrying?
I felt weighed down and by worrying I wasn’t adding anything to my life. I was wasting precious moments of my life being anxious about baseball from three years ago.
As someone who is at high-risk (immunosuppressed and disabled), it is completelyunderstandable to be concerned and vigilant during this pandemic, but it does not deserve to weigh you down and waste your life. Nothing, not even a contagious and deadly virus should weigh you down you when God is still present, good, and sovereign over all of his creation.
Anxiety Forgets About Eternal Security
Something I have not mentioned is that my dad was watching abridged versions of the World Series before I bought the documentary. He’s home in quarantine too, so he had some time to watch them on TV.
Maybe that influenced me to buy it at 3AM…
At one point he said that when he watching the games he felt anxious. Without thinking or hesitation, I said, “Dad, why are you anxious? You know how it ends!” As those words came out I was immediately connected what I said to life as a Christian.
Unfortunately, I forgot what I had said when I was watching because I also felt anxious. I knew the Cubs were going to win (SPOILER ALERT) but, I forgot that when trouble came. I simply forgot the ending when trouble came.
Christians need to remember the eternal security we have in Christ during this pandemic. We need to remember what Jesus has accomplished in his life, death, and resurrection. We know the ending.
In the first letter Peter wrote to the Christians in exile, he said,
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Because of his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead and into an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you. You are being guarded by God’s power through faith for a salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.
1 Peter 1:3-5 (emphasis added)
To summarize what Peter is telling these Christian exiles:
Remember that God saved you through Christ for eternal life and, as experience trouble, know that God is guarding you and your faith until the end.
Anxiety forgets that we have an eternal life in, through, and secured by Christ.
When the documentary finished, the Chicago Cubs were the 2016 World Series Champions. There certainly were ups and downs, good times and bad, and moments of joy and pain. But, knowing how it ends puts the whole documentary in a different light.
We don’t know when or how this COVID-19 pandemic will end, but we know the ending of all things. Don’t let this time weigh you down and waste your life with anxiety, and don’t forget your eternal security as we continue to quarantine.
Let us all continue to pray and wait patiently for a conclusion.