Some of us need to be doing the thing to feel at ease about the thing; thinking about the thing makes us fidgety and irritable.
Case in point: Christmas Eve worship. I’m supposed to do a children’s time, which I haven’t done in at least two years, and which will be for kids I mostly don’t know. It’s prepared. I’m ready. I spent plenty of time designing it and sharing it with colleagues for their input. I even have help.
The hours and minutes beforehand, though, I’m a nervous wreck. My stomach hurts and all I can do is imagine ways it goes wrong. I can’t focus on the first several moments of the service for all these jitters.
Then the time comes and all the stress just melts away. Standing before all the people and addressing the fidgety kids actually reduces the tension and puts me at ease. Doing the thing is fun, and, of course, it’s not the disaster I’d scripted it to be.
Nervous energy isn’t super useful, but some of us need a thing to be doing so that we don’t think ourselves into doom.