The Culture Monk
Photographs & Philosophy
– The Periphrastic Mind of Kenneth Justice
[Terry: In My High School Latin, I was taught that the Passive Periphrastic meant a way of saying something that walked all the way around the building (periphrastic). But for the life of me, I can’t find much that’s Passive about Mr. Justice.]
by Kenneth Justice ~So much to do so little time….How many of us often feel a tad bit overwhelmed with all that we have going on?
Whenever I visit my various friends in the suburbs I’m not sure whether to be impressed or sad to see their calendars and appointment books filled to overflowing with appointments and tasks that need to be done. A while back I called a friend of mine and asked him if he wanted to go out for coffee and he said, “Kenneth, looking at my appointment book I can’t see any openings in the near future, could you call me in three to four months and check back then?”
Three to four months? Huh??? Hey, I’ll be the first to admit that I tend to be ‘last-minute guy’. I’m not a big fan of having a schedule that is so filled with appointments, meetings, and tasks that I have to tell someone, ‘Call me back in three – four months’. Because, to be honest with you; I’ve been there before. Shortly after graduating High School I worked two jobs; a 9-5 day job, and during the evenings & weekends I worked in (gulp) politics. The political job was high pressure; suit and tie, non-stop meetings, fundraisers, strategy sessions……it was intense. I worked seven days a week for more than a year……. When friends would call me up to get coffee, I was just like my friend; I’d have to check my calendar because my schedule was jammed packed and I had very few openings…..
After a year or so of living life that way; I had enough. It was simply too hectic, too much busyness and not enough time spent with friends and family. However, even though my schedule changed as the years went by, I still had a hard time giving up a behavior that I developed; I worried too much about tomorrow.
Many of us live each day of our life carrying a lot of ‘worry’ around with us;
—) We worry about our children
—) We worry about our significant other
—) We worry about our vocation
We worry, worry, worry One of the bible verses I always had a difficult time understanding when I was younger has to do with something Jesus said, “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own“
I struggled with that saying of Jesus because I didn’t understand; how am I not supposed to worry about tomorrow? Isn’t it good that I’m worried about tomorrow and the work I’ve got to get done, my responsibilities, bills, debt, and everything else that goes with the future?
But now that I’m a little bit older I’m beginning to realize; worrying about tomorrow is simply too tiring. Its exhausting. Some people even get sick because they worry about tomorrow. I recall writing an essay in college about people who get sick on Sunday nights because they start thinking about having to go to work the next day.
A business acquaintance of mine has told me repeatedly that the worst day of his week is Sunday night; “My stomach starts getting upset, I feel nauseous, and I have a hard time going to sleep….all because I can’t stop thinking about having to go to work the next morning” he says.
Yet the simple fact of the matter is that as long as I worry about tomorrow; I can’t enjoy the wonderful thing that is today. I know that may sound trite, but as simplistic as it may be….its very true. When we worry about tomorrow it affects our friendships, our family, our children, and more. Worry can cause us to become locked up in paralysis; unable to truly enjoy and live out the day.
Worry is one of the chief issues that is leading so many people throughout the Western World to pop pills. Worry can lead to anxiety, depression, and a whole host of other psychological responses that doctors label “a reason to prescribe you medication”
Yet in the end, we have a choice don’t we? We have the choice to learn how to stop worrying; how to let go of the burdensome thoughts that weigh us down.
There’s nothing wrong with planning for the future; in fact that is a good attitude to have….but worrying about the future can become a problem.
As for me, I’ll have Just Today please, and a coffee to go with it,