Anxious for Nothing: Finding Calm in a Chaotic World by Max Lucado

Max Lucado is one of the most well-respected authors that I know of, especially when it comes to faith and life. I have always enjoyed his perspectives and Bible-based teachings. This book was no different. While compact and concise, I had some great thoughts throughout the book and it definitely emphasized many of the things that I practice or already agree with.

The first thing that I noted was the anxiety levels that were shared. I found this fascinating and incredibly frightening at the same time. The anxiety levels displayed by the average child today are the same as your typical psychiatric patient in the 1950s??? Now this is not incredibly surprising to me but it most certainly is not positive. There is so much hustle and bustle in this current society that it seems people are not so good at simply finding contentment and creating peace for themselves.

Robert Lee noted after a study involving over 200,000 incoming freshman, the average child today exhibits the same levels of anxiety as the average psychiatric patient in the 1950s.

Love this truth. Just another reason why levels of freedom are so important and valuable. In a previous book, I noted how children will become more “free” during recess when there is a fence around the schoolyard. While the fighter pilots were restrained within their planes and within the war itself, they had control over their actions and they saw that.

After WWII, psychologists performed a study and found ground troopers were “emotionally dead” after 60 days of combat. The comparative calm of fighter pilots was surprising. While their mortality rate was 50%, 93% of them said they were happy with their assignments. Perceived control creates calm; lack of control gives birth to fear.

Infinite love and gratitude is a mantra for me. I begin each morning with a gratitude list of the first 3–10 things that are on my mind. People say that life is 10% what happens to us and 90% how we react, a positive outlook is essential.

Studies have linked gratitude to higher levels of empathy and forgiveness. Those with a gratitude journal are more likely to have a positive outlook on life. Grateful individuals demonstrate less envy, materialism, and self-centeredness.

Amen. This is something that I deeply believe, love the way that the author said this.

“What you have in Christ is always greater than anything you don’t have in life.” — Max Lucado
Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash
“Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.” — John 15:4 NIV

That is one of my favorite Bible verses and the first thing that came to mind with this passage from the book. It’s so important that we remember our goal — to stay attached to God.

The dominant duty of the branch is to remain in the vine. The dominant duty of the disciple is the same. Our goal is not to bear fruit, our goal is to stay attached. As a father telling his son to hold his hand while they maneuver down a crowded street, God does the same with us. The father didn’t tell the boy to memorize the map or let’s see if you can find your way home, he gave the but one responsibility: hold onto my hand. God dies the same with us.

There is no in between. Either you have lemonade or you don’t — lemon juice doesn’t cut it. It’s all about action and about taking advantage of what we can control. The world has a lot happening always but if we focus on what we can affect and impact and actually change, we will have a lot more calm.

You cannot control the circumstances but you can always control what you think of them. You have a choice to make, you either make lemonade with the lemons in your life or you don’t.

Photo by Jack Sharp on Unsplash

This book was insightful, well-written, and to the point. Definitely one of the books that affirmed many of the things that I believe in and regularly practice. It’s never enough for me that I just get something done, I always give me best, 100%. Anything less than 100% is not good enough and at times, I get a little bit stressed out by that — for good reason. But I center myself in the Word and remember what Martin Luther said, “I have so much to do that I shall spend the first three hours in prayer.” He didn’t throw prayer by the wayside when he got busy — he PRIORITIZED prayer.

I gave this book a 3.5/5

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