Friday, February 17, 2012

Be Anxious About Nothing...and a Beagle on Prozac

Even photos cause Copper anxiety...

Yes, I just picked up a Prozac prescription for our six-year-old Beagle, Copper.  My wife and I adopted him and his brother, Jax, from a rescue almost four-years ago, well aware that they both had a history of abuse and neglect that could pose potential difficulties later in life.  While Copper's "twin brother," Jax, has more than overcome his tragic past, Copper has been unable to shake his fear.  Instead, our hound dog lives in a cloud of anxiety that causes him to cower at the slightest sounds, e.g. a baby-tossed cheerio, or elicit pathetic, albeit subconcious, barks while curled up in his bed.  Copper's life is dominated by worry...hence the Prozac.

I have tried reading Philippians 4 to Copper, where Paul writes, "Be anxious about nothing."  The results are less than satisfactory. 

Then I think to myself, I am not much different.

"Be anxious about nothing, Greg."

"In everything, O young theologian, present your requests to God...with thanksgiving."

Yet I continue to cower at the slightest of obstacles.  I bark endlessly whenever trials come my way.  Despite a history of God's provision and grace, I live in fear that somehow this time will be different.

And I panic.

I am not sure which is more difficult for my wife to endure: our mentally disturbed beagle and all his baggage or a husband who preaches faith but so often fails to possess it?  

After 4-6 weeks of Beagle Prozac, I am sure she will probably say the latter. 

This past year has posed a wide variety of changes in our lives.  We have taken risks and welcomed new lives.  We have accrued expenses and been the recipients of extreme generosity.  

I still worry.  Even though God has provided and reminded us over and again that God never leaves nor forsakes, I worry.  

As Lent approaches, I pray for fear and anxiety to be crucified and peace and thanksgiving to be resurrected.  I covenant to celebrate the simple joys in life, be they days off with my kids or conversations with friends.  I hold on hope, confident that as God has been present in the darkest moments of my life, so also will God be present today, tomorrow, and everyday thereafter. 

I will be anxious about nothing. 

Maybe Copper will, too. 


A great article by Lauren Winner, "My Lenten Fast: Giving Up Anxiety."