Let go of apathy, worry and anger this year

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Let go of apathy, worry and anger this year

As we approach the fruitful Lenten season, Fr Alvan Ibeh says it might be a good time to reflect on the weights we have in our lives in his Voice of Hope series.

The most important weight we need to let go of, and should not even allow into our lives, is apathy towards God. Just as fish cannot survive without water and humans cannot live without air, we, as Christians, will not live a comfortable and fulfilled life without God.

I would rather say that God is the air we breathe; without Him, our lives will be and remain meaningless and without purpose. God gives meaning to our existence here on earth, ‘for in Him, we live and move and have our being’ (Acts 17:28), and ‘cut off from Him, we can do nothing’. (John 15:5). We must stay connected to God, not just in this year but in every moment of our lives. We should therefore be people of prayer, as this gives us access to Him, and God’s line is always available 24/7; there is never such a thing as network failure, but the only thing that disconnects us from this line is sin.

That notwithstanding, there is always room for reconnection through the sacrament of reconciliation. We must, therefore, always make an effort to stay connected to God, our loving and caring Father and let go of anything that challenges this. We must have hearts drawn toward God’s word and ask Him to give us the desire to walk with him daily. We must choose every day to come to Him, even if only for a few moments. James 4:8 says, ‘Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, sinners, and purify your hearts; you double-minded’.

Another weight almost all carry is worry, which is a difficult battle for many of us. There is no doubt that when faced with challenging situations, our natural tendency is often to react first with fear and worry instead of being propelled by a spirit of faith.

God tells us how attempting to carry the cares and worries of this world on our own will burden us. Worry does not, and never has, solved any problem but instead adds to the problem. When we worry about a situation, we indirectly say God can’t handle that situation. Worry pulls us back and prevents us from moving forward into our God-given destiny.

But when we let go of worry, faith comes into place. It is our faith that attracts God’s attention to our situation because, ‘without Faith, it is impossible to please’ (Hebrews 11:6). It is the fear of the unknown that leads us to worrying about things, but in Isaiah 40:10 it says: ‘Fear not for I am with you, be not discouraged for I am your God, I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.’

Anger is another weight many of us carry around today and we find it very difficult to drop. It is a human emotion we all possess and manifest from time to time, though more in some than in others. While some can control their emotions, others find it extremely difficult to do so. Whatever the case, the fact is that an attitude of anger and hateful speech does nothing to create change. It only makes things worse both for the person and others around.

Life, my dear friends, is too short to waste on anger. But if you have been battling this weight for a long time now, don’t give up; take it to God and don’t even get fed up with reminding Him about it every day. God alone has the power to break through all the hardness. He can change us into people of kindness, self-control and encouragement. It may even seem like a miracle to those around us. But we must choose to allow Him to work in us. James 1:19-20 says: ‘Let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for man’s anger does not produce the righteousness of God’.

Whatever weight you have decided to drop, I pray that God will grant us grace, especially in this season of Lent, so that our year will run smoothly till the end, even amid challenges and obstacles. God bless us all.