Community in conversation Reverend Andrew Manning

2016-02-10 06:00
Reverend Andrew Manning. Photo: supplied

Reverend Andrew Manning. Photo: supplied

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WITH the rand-dollar exchange, political unrest, an education crisis, the drought, inflation and the looming rise in the cost of electricity, we have lots to be anxious about. But we are told: "Do not be anxious about anything". Well that is easier said than done. But being anxious is different to being concerned or aware of. Being anxious implies a sense of powerlessness. And we do feel powerless over the drought, over the exchange rate, over education. Unless of course we are involved directly in activities that deal with finance, agriculture or education because being involved means that we take responsibility and we engage with the situation and find solutions.

Even in a drought a farmers are not powerless, if they make contingency plans and adjust. We still have schools and many teachers are working hard under difficult situations - concerned yes, but anxious - not if they are part of the solution. Are you?

One of the biggest problems in society is our tendency to be spectators rather than participants. When you live your life as a spectator it makes you anxious. Watching a professional team play may not be such a good example (depending on who you support), but think of watching your child or grandchild play their first cricket or rugby game. You worry that they don't know the rules, you worry that they don't have the skills, you worry that they don't have the experience and you know that from the sidelines you can't help.

You can shout support, you can criticise and comment, but you have no influence, you can only influence if you get in the game. If you play cricket at home with your child and coach him and share your experience (even if you learnt the skills watching professionals play on TV) you have empowered yourself.
When you have interacted with and engaged with your child, you won't be anxious, you will be concerned and caring and supportive, because you're involved.
Life's like that, when you involve yourself in your child's education, you will be informed and influential, when you are involved with community initiatives to prevent crime or protect the environment or raise the next generation to have values, you'll no longer be anxious.
If you want to move from anxiety to action, you have to change the way you think and you have to act differently, respond differently.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God (Philippians 4:6 - Holy Bible).
This means taking to heart the things that concern you and involving yourself in the solutions.

Standing on the sidelines, you are powerless, regardless of how much “though dost protest”. Standing on the sidelines you are powerless to influence the outcome no matter how much you criticise, no matter what an "expert" commentator you have become.

Do not be anxious about anything but give yourself to action

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and
supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God

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