Do not worry--trust in God

Originally Appeared in : 9921-10/10/19

The winding roads between our house and the Taekwondo dojo in Wrightsville have a tendency to make some of our crew dizzy or lightheaded.


If we’re being totally honest, it’s mostly Jesse and, now that she’s deep into pregnancy numero ocho, Magan (even when she’s the one driving, go figure), but as I looked in the rear view mirror I noticed Noah looked rather peaked.


“Noah, you alright son?” I bounced off the mirror back in his direction.


“I’m just nervous,” he replied, swallowing hard to reaffirm his position.


“Why are you nervous?” I poked further.


“I’m just worried about the test,” he said. “I hope I pass.”


“You’ll do just fine,” I said.


Five minutes later I was shouting something slightly different to Eli, whose energy level was about to earn him a spot in the dojo’s corner.


“If you don’t settle down and get focused,” I said, “you may not do well on your test.”


“Yes sir,” was his reply, signaling he’d honor the arrangement as long as his attention span could hold on to the tongue about another 10 minutes or so.


We arrived in time for them to stretch and assemble with the other half dozen-or-so who were also testing, and then their instructor signaled it was time to begin.


Noah had a Katniss Everdeen stare about him, almost like Master Cordry’s call would signal his entry into The Hunger Games, while his partner in arms, Simon, glanced toward the ceiling tiles as if to say, “I wonder what’s for lunch?”


Jesse and Eli went first, performing their Donghoon form, and answering questions like “How high can you count in Korean?” or “What does Charyut mean?” They both did well, and I also noticed that Eli might finally be growing based on the high water Gi he was sporting (that, or he was honoring my dad, whose pants were notoriously a good five inches above his shoes which he claimed was a show of support to men and women of the armed forces).


It was finally time for Noah and Simon to take center stage and begin their test.


They marched through the 21 moves with relative ease, and aside from Simon jumping in front of his brother to answer “What’s a Kyungnet?” — it means “to bow”— the only possible demerits I could see would have been from Noah’s weaker left-footed sidekicks (He’s right-footed).


As the morning’s martial arts assessments drew to a close, I thanked Master Cordry who seemed very pleased with the boys’ performances.


“Noah has been worried to death about this all week,” I said, which garnered a smirk and shake of the head as an almost “wink wink” from Master Cordry that he’d done perfectly fine on his exam.


On the way home, Noah’s continued concerns over his showing drew a touch of ire from the driver’s seat.


“Noah, it’s not like if you failed you don’t get a job or you’re going to jail,” I said. “You did fine, and I’m sure you’ll be a Green belt by Christmas just as Master Cordry has said over and over again.”


The point I was trying to drive home to Noah is one we all need to heed, including myself: Worry is pointless. Worry is proven to be bad for your health and can actually be construed as sinful because we’re essentially not trusting fully in God’s will for our lives.


God isn’t interested in whether Noah will be a Green belt, or an Aquamarine belt for that matter, but he is interested in Noah giving his best effort in everything to his glory, most notably Noah’s faith.


“Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win. Everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable” (1 Corinthians 9:24-25).


It’s impossible to give your full attention and focus to anything, including Donghoon form or Jesus Christ, if a portion of your focus is settled on doubt and worry. Instead, Noah and all of us must listen to the words of 1 Peter 5:6-8 which says, “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”


Thankfully we live in Georgia, so we shouldn’t have any worries about lions, except for the seven in my passenger van who were ready to devour a steakburger and fries to cap the day’s events. And, yes, Jesse got dizzy on the five-minute ride home.


Jason Halcombe has five sons and two daughters. He and his wife, Magan, are members of Immaculate Conception Church, Dublin.

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