I was alerted recently to this quote from a letter by C. S. Lewis to Dom Bede Griffiths from December 20, 1946:
It is one of the evils of rapid diffusion of news that the sorrows of all the world come to us every morning. I think each village was meant to feel pity for its own sick and poor whom it can help and I doubt if it is the duty of any private person to fix his mind on ills wh. he cannot help. (This may even become an escape from the works of charity we really can do to those we know).
A great many people (not you) do now seem to think that the mere state of being worried is in itself meritorious. I don’t think it is. We must, if it so happens, give our lives for others: but even while we’re doing it, I think we’re meant to enjoy Our Lord and, in Him, our friends, our food, our sleep, our jokes, and the birds song and the frosty sunrise.
I think about this regularly. I think about it whenever I get on social media. I thought about it last week, when so many people seemed to be fretting about the results of the presidential election. These things have major real-world consequences, of course. But “can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?”
As about the distant, so about the future. It is v. dark: but there’s usually light enough for the next step or so. Pray for me always.
I want, in my own life, to never be afraid to help when I can, to take real risks to serve others who are in my sphere of influence. But I also want to draw a bright line between things I can do something about and things I must leave in God’s hands. And when I have left those things in God’s hands, I want to be free to enjoy the life God has given me without guilt, without feeling that worry in itself will help anyone. Even if this appears irresponsible to a great many people.