Headless Chicken Condition

“The people of Nineveh believed God’s message,
and from the greatest to the least,
they decided to go without food
and wear sackcloth to show their sorrow.”
Jonah 3:5 NLT

Mark Twain once said, “I’ve had a lot of worries in my life, most of which never happened.”

Sounds like me.

If only I could wrap my mind around the “MOST OF WHICH WILL NEVER HAPPEN” part a little bit sooner. Unfortunately, most days I run around like a headless chicken instead.

But God knew this about the human condition, so he put accounts of real people with real cases of HCC (Headless Chicken Condition) in the Bible, too. I cracked up when I realized it this week: Jonah was just as crazy as us!

God told Jonah to go warn the people of Nineveh that they were in for some major pain unless they turned from their sins and started living right. But Jonah knew the people of Nineveh were powerful and wicked… his imagination was probably flooded with images of how they would “shoot the messenger.” But, once he actually got his head on straight and went to do what God asked, their response couldn’t have been further from his fear:

“On the day Jonah entered the city, he shouted to the crowds: ‘Forty days from now Nineveh will be destroyed!’ The people of Nineveh believed God’s message, and from the greatest to the least, they decided to go without food and wear sackcloth to show their sorrow.” (Jonah 3:4-5 NLT)

Not a single one of them bullied Jonah or gave him even a hint of a hard time. Not ONE of his fears became reality. The Bible says they believed God’s message. Even as wayward as they were in their culture, they still could recognize that this warning didn’t come from mere man. In fact, they were so convicted that they didn’t even waste time writing a thank-you card to Jonah, they jumped right into changing their ways!

Today, I’m extremely motivated to be cured of my HCC. I don’t want to let my head hit the pillow tonight full of things that will probably never happen. Instead, this week, I’m going to focus on the promises of God, ALL of which will ALWAYS happen.

  • He will be with me through the valleys of life. (Psalm 23)
  • He has a plan for me – a great one! (Jeremiah 29:11)
  • He considers me worth dying for. (John 3:16)
  • He wants me to let HIM take care of my weariness and burdens. (Matthew 11:28)


Dear Lord, if I took even HALF of the time I spend worrying and instead used it to praise and worship you, I would be a much healthier person. I’m sorry for all the time I spend trying to control this life and protect myself from the what if’s. Please cure me of my Headless Chicken Condition and let me run this race with intention and courage. Amen.

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/54289096@N00/8070436366″>zen scream in magnifier</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/”>(license)</a>

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About messyworship

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I believe that you can bump into God outside of a Sunday morning church service. That is what Messy Worship is: a written meditation with an authentic, transparent take on the Bible's application to today's world. This is where I challenge myself to blurr the line between "life" and "worship" so much that the line disappears a little more each day. I hope, by sharing what I learn, the idea of a seamless life of worship becomes contagious.

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    Tom Krill / Reply
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      You are so right. Mike and I always ask ourselves if “this” (whatever we’re stressing about) will matter in a week or a month or a year. Most times we realize we won’t even remember what it was we were so stressed about.

      messyworship / (in reply to Tom Krill) Reply
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    Anonymous / Reply
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    Kristen Pettigrew / Reply
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    Great write! ….we are all worry warthogs!

    Anonymous / Reply
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      Thank you for reading!!! Yes, worry warthogs for sure! 🙂 Why is it so hard to just trust that God’s got it all under control?!

      messyworship / (in reply to ) Reply
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    What if God haven’t blessed us all with your incredible literary talent? We have so much to be thankful for that there is little room left for our imaginary stresses that we try to breathe life into!

    Anonymous / Reply
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      Thank you so much for your encouragement – You definitely blessed my day!! You are so right about there being so much to be thankful for and I love how you referred to our stresses: “imaginary stresses that we try to breathe life into.” What a powerful image… how often do I try to perform CPR on my stresses? Ugh. I just need to let them die. 🙂

      messyworship / (in reply to ) Reply
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    Keep these aritelcs coming as they’ve opened many new doors for me.

    Essie / Reply
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    That’s a mol-abredker. Great thinking!

    Adele / Reply
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