Time to pay the bills.  I do it the old school way, by writing checks.  I tucked a $5,000 check into one envelope.  Then pasted a stamp on it and a return address sticker with Christmas graphics on it (even though it was June).   Will the folks at Chase Bank notice?  

I had several urgent errands to run and stopping by the mailbox was last on my list.  That was a mistake because I worried about that envelope all morning long. 

What if it should slip down between the car seats and get lost?  What if I go in for an Egg McMuffin, and someone should see it in the car, break in and take it?   What if I just forget about it?  The late fee and the interest would be painful.

I got to thinking, “Hey this is pretty much par for me.  When I have something on my mind, I get chained to a mental cycle of distraction and burden.  This is especially true when the issue is troublesome.

Well, I finally pulled up to the big blue box and dropped it in the slot.  And poof, my angst went down the chute along with the envelope.  

Mail is occasionally misplaced by the USPS.  But did you know that the exact figure is about a half a percent which is incredible when you consider the volume of mail that goes out each day, and you consider that there are people like me whose scribble on the envelope can’t be read.

Regardless, once I dropped that letter in the box, I was relieved, and I carried on the rest of the day without a fret.  

I wonder if that’s what the Spirit of God had in mind when He inspired Paul to write, “Do not be anxious about anything. Instead, in every situation, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, tell your requests to God. And the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:6-7 NETBible.com

“Do not be anxious,” he said.  I kinda wish He hadn’t said that because I am the type of person that gets anxious knowing that I should not be anxious.   Nevertheless, He said, “Do not be anxious for anything.”  

Anything that causes a person anxiety is now off the table.  Health hindrances, financial foul-ups, relational rollercoasters or even unmailed bills.  All anxiety is to be shunned.

In its place should be prayer, specific petitions concerning whatever issues we face. Requests should be posted to an all knowing, all powerful, completely motivated by love – God.   It should be partnered with thanksgiving. 

Why thanksgiving?  Because He has allowed us an opportunity to be challenged and to grow and He has given us the means by which to handle our anxieties and because our prayers are welcomed and encouraged, and because our God has pledged to answer and because we know that whatever answer He gives will be good for us because He loves us.    

And once those prayers have been dropped in the heavenly blue box, the peace of God will flood our hearts.   We will rest in confidence knowing that “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stay our divine courier from the swift completion of His appointed rounds.”  (My apologies to the USPS for modifying their motto)

And the delivery stats for an earnest prayer are the best.  They arrive at their destination nothing less than 100% of the time.

I don’t know about doing a New Year’s Resolution.  Mine usually end up as New Year’s Frustrations.  But maybe you and I can begin praying that God will remind us to pray. 

We can let the emotional strangulation we sometimes feel, become the trigger to post a prayer to heaven.

So maybe I should conclude with a prayer:  Lord I am certain – absolutely certain that I would be more able to handle the challenges of life, if my first response were to pray.  Would you help me, and us to develop that habit this year? 

This has been Jim Johnson and pickleheavenpress.com

May the grace of our Lord Jesus be with you!