I had the good fortune of traveling to Kearney, Neb. a few weeks back to speak for the Nebraska Bankers Association’s Annual Agricultural Conference.

As I often do, I sat in on several sessions to keep myself in the know as to today’s trends in the agricultural world and beyond. One speaker in particular really captivated and held my attention. His was a “Zoom” presentation.

Sporting a Carhartt work vest and a baseball cap, he sat before the camera in his office and very effectively carried on a one-way conversation with his audience. He spoke of many developments in the world, and after giving his take of some situations, he would follow by saying, “And that’s what worries me.”

He shared with the audience that Russia and Ukraine produce 30% of the world’s wheat, putting tremendous pressure on the world’s food supply. “And that’s what worries me.”

He further stated that Egypt imports 70% of its wheat from Russia and Ukraine making that country overly dependent on those nations. “And that’s what worries me.”

He stressed the continuing pressure brought about by the “food (corn) or fuel (ethanol)” debate. He speculated it was not going away. “And that’s what worries me.”

He informed the audience that one million research dollars were spent to produce the first pound of artificial meat (not plant based). And now it’s down to $100 per pound. He further speculated that when the cost drops to $10 per pound it will compete with beef and pork. “And that’s what really worries me.”

Of course, he shared much more valuable information. I’ve only written of a few. I came away from his talk thinking, “Wow, he sure gave us a lot to worry about!”

I’ve given much thought to the subject of “worry” over the course of my life. You hear people say all the time, “Well, I just worry!” or “I’m worried sick!” (And it is a psychological fact that one can worry one’s self sick.) Or “I stayed up all night worrying!” And most everyone as heard of a “worry wart.”

I actually think some folks consider it noble (or even saintly) to be worriers. When I was a younger man I use to wake up in the middle of the night on occasion and (to use the words of C.S. Lewis) “all my natural fussings and fightings” would come rushing at me like a bunch of wild animals. And I was inclined to worry.

But later on, I read these words in the Good Book. “Be not overcome by sudden fear.” I took that as a command. So, I figured God was going to be up all night anyway, so I started turning my concerns over to Him.

The late Dr. Adrian Rodgers, in a sermon once said, “Worry is an insult hurled in the face of God.”

When I was in the 4th grade we studied music under our high school band director. His name was Fowler Stanton. We first learned to play instruments under him on a simple contraption called a flutaphone. In some ways it reminded me of primitive clarinet. Constructed of white plastic and accented with red stripes, it was no more than 10 inches in length. It offered a wonderful opportunity to learn the simple scale. They called us “Fowler’s Fluters.”

I was never very skilled at playing musical instruments, but I was gifted with an excellent musical “ear.” So, I began to work out country music songs on my flutaphone. Every week Mr. Stanton would ask, “What do you have for us this week, Jack?” I had a few hits and a few misses. One was a really big hit. It became one of our standards. I had heard June Carter sing it before she became a Cash. “It Takes a Worried Man to Sing a Worried Song.”

I determined long ago I would never sing a worried song. Which reminds me of a little poem I once came across.

Worry never paid a bill,

nor cured an ill,

nor climbed a hill.

It never led a horse to water.

nor did a thing you thought it ort ‘er.

Jack McCall is a motivational humorist, southern storyteller and author. A native Middle Tennessean, he is recognized on the national stage as a “Certified Speaking Professional.” Email: Cell: 615-973-8645; Copyright 2022 by Jack McCall.

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