By Curtis Shelburne: Religion columnist
Should we be worried if we’re not worried enough?
By Curtis K. Shelburne
I sometimes wonder if I have a “politically correct” bone in my body. I think I’m becoming less “politically correct” all the time. What probably should worry me most about this is that I’m hardly worried by it at all. That in itself, some folks would surely say, is a worrisome symptom.
You see, politically correct folks worry a lot. It’s almost as if worrying was part and parcel of their job. If they’re not worrying and encouraging others to be discouraged by the same things they worry about, they’re not doing their job. If they didn’t worry, they would worry that they were not worried, and thus feel maybe a little better because a big part of their job is feeling good about feeling bad.
This is complicated.
I wonder about worrying. (Maybe I should worry about such wondering?) I know I worried too much as a child. Yes, I definitely worried as a parent. And, yes, I’ve worried way too much as a pastor.
Maybe I just haven’t had the time to worry about a bunch of the stuff that folks these days want us to worry about.
For example, I get the strong impression that good people today are supposed to be seriously worried about saving the planet. Now, about salvation issues in general, the pastor under my hat has thought — and, yes, worried — a good bit. In that regard, I worry much less than I once did. I hope that comes from learning more about loving and trusting my Father.
And, yes, I love this place we call Earth. But I honestly have just not had much time to worry about “saving the planet.” That term strikes me as so arrogant and naive as to be weirdly comical, something on the order of a group of guppies forming a club to “Save the Ocean.” Maybe I’m the one who’s naive, but I suppose I figure the Creator has kept things spinning just fine without a whole lot of my help.
Maybe my perspective is skewed by growing up in West Texas, a land of farmers and ranchers who have almost always been some of the best stewards of God’s good earth. They loved the land a long time before being “green” was cool. They’ve also tended to possess a better than average crop of common sense.
Nowadays we’re supposed to be worried about “climate change.” A worried former vice president won an Oscar by making a film telling us to be worried. Very worried. Al Gore called the film An Inconvenient Truth.
George Will’s Newsweek column, “An Inconvenient Price,” is more true to reality, I think. He makes an excellent case that if nations “impose antiwarming measures” as severe as the direst warming warnings, “the damage to global economic growth could cause in this century more preventable death and suffering than was caused in the last century by Hitler, Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot combined. Nobel Peace Prize, indeed.”
I’m 100 percent for good stewardship of God’s good Earth. I’m 110 percent for being wise about how we do it. Then maybe we’ll worry less.
Is that okay? I think so.
Curtis Shelburne is pastor of 16th & Ave. D. Church of Christ in Muleshoe. Contact him at