Did you think that if someone has faith in God, they stop worrying?  Oh me oh my no.

I happen to have been blessed without the worry bone.  Sometimes I wonder if I am, in fact, a Jewish mother.  (As it turns out, I am.)  But I find that many, many folks have it, big time.

Here’s how the mind of a religious worrier works; by way of explanation, the word “Hashem” is used herein to denote “God”  – it’s a respectful Hebrew reference.

From an email I received last week:

This morning I was thinking about this adorable newborn baby I saw
in Macy’s last week. He was in a stroller, hat falling down over his one
eye and he was just watching me as I walked by. It really struck me how
this baby has no worries whatsoever. He doesn’t know that there is
anything in life to worry about and all his needs are currently being
met by his loving parents who were both by his side. 

So I said to myself, this is how we are suppose to feel when we
know (really know) that Hashem [God] is taking care of us, just like a loving
parent. We shouldn’t worry, right?

Then I started thinking, at this newborn’s young age, he really
doesn’t have free will and therefore his parents (provided they are
normal) wouldn’t punish him in anyway or deprive him of anything. 

Then I started thinking that I have free will and therefore how
Hashem relates to me depends on my free will choices; whether I get His
blessings or a nudge to move me in the certain direction, or G-d forbid,
something much greater then a just a nudge to propel me in a completely
different direction.  (G-d forbid, loss of job, change in health, divorce
or death, G-D FORBID!).

So unlike this newborn whose parents only shower him with love and
good things, what Hashem showers me with all depends on my free will

Emuna [faith].. it’s all ultimately in Hashem’s hands, but I have to use my
free will to make the best choices all the time so that Hashem will
treat me favorably. 

On the other hand, I’m taught that if I’m meant to lose my job,
I’ll lose it regardless of how good a job I do and vice-versa. 
years ago, my boss kept me on when from a practical standpoint most
employees would have laid me off because work was so slow. I thought he
kept me on because he figured I’d get busy again and then he would have
an experienced employee on staff (not so easy to find in my field). Maybe
that was his thinking. A religious friend of mine said maybe he kept you on
because Hashem felt paying me was like his tzedakah [mitzvah of charity].

When do I ever know if I’ve used my free will properly or to the
fullest? Have I been kind and sensitive enough to my family, co-workers? Have a given my employer his money’s worth? Have I used my money in
ways that Hashem wants me to? Have I used my speech properly, have I
davened [prayed] enough? Have a taken good enough care of my body, this vessel
that He has given me on loan?

I believe that Hashem controls everything and I believe that
everything is for the good. But doesn’t my free will effect how Hashem
chooses to treat me? 

I kind of feel like I’m going around in circles with my thinking.
So…does faith make worry easier, or more complicated?