Homily by Rev. Mason T. Beecroft, 09/13/2010
Do you remember Bobby McFerrin’s song, “Don’t Worry, Be Happy?” In 1988, it reached #1 on the Billboard. In 1989, it won the Grammys for “Song of the Year,” “Album of the Year,” and “Vocalist of the Year.” We must have been really depressed that year to make that silly song so popular. “Don’t worry, be happy?” Really? What planet is that guy from? What kind of advice is that in this crazy world of ours? We live in a volatile, ever-changing, fast-paced, winner-take-all world. Our culture is known for its stress and worry. Some 43% of all adults suffer health effects due to worry and stress. Ninety percent of Americans worry that they have not saved enough for retirement. An estimated one million workers are absent on an average workday because of stress related complaints. We see violence and war every evening on our televisions and it seems that things are only getting worse. We hear about kids being taken from their own yards and then subjected to the most heinous crimes. The economy is unpredictable, and our political climate is laughable. We live in a wasteland of unbridled consumption, untold violence, endless distraction, with a completely unpredictable future, all of which contribute to our stress and anxiety and worry. Don’t worry, be happy? Don’t you wish it was that simple? But we know that it is not. Life is more infinitely more complex.
So why do you worry? You know you do. You worry about how your kids will do in school; you worry about your job; you worry about your health. You worry about your grades… or you worry that your parents will find out about your grades. You worry whether you have enough money to pay your bills or to last you through retirement. You worry about your marriage and your family. You worry that other people will like you. You worry about the church. You worry about your day when you get out of bed and you worry about the next day when you lay down at night.