The Worry God

By Tom Veatch

I had an epiphany, and invented (or discovered) a God: The God of Worry. Actually this God is very ancient, more ancient than any God of any recorded history. But the discovery is brand new.

What the Worry God does, of course, is worry. Being omniscient, the Worry God knows about and worries about everything. Being omnipotent, the Worry God does all possible worrying, and does a full and complete job of it. It is impossible that more worrying could ever be done, either about any particular thing, or about things in general; the omnipotent Worry God is doing all of it. And being a personal God, of course, the Worry God worries about all of our own individual personal worries. We cannot possibly have any worry that is not already being fully worried about, whether or not we ourselves worry about them, think about them, or even know about them!

Is the Worry God a man or a woman? It seems traditional that Fathers do more punishing, while Mothers do more fretting. Then if we could determine that there was a God of Punishment, or maybe a God of Guilt, who had to be a man, then probably the God of Worry ought to be a woman, right?

So, is there a God of Guilt? Well, the Christian "God of Love", so called, is actually primarily a God of Forgiveness of Sins -- some might say that that's what Love really is. But if you think about it, that's the same as being a God of Guilt. It's two sides of one Guilt coin; your job is to feel guilty, then the God of Guilt's job is to forgive you. Similarly with the Worry coin, your job is to come up with worries, and the God of Worry's job is to do all the worrying needed about them. So if the Christian God is the Guilt God, and since, sure enough, nearly everyone calls Him Him, it would seem only right that the Worry God should be a woman. Fair is fair, after all.

How shall we worship the Worry God? We can worry! Doing what the Worry God Herself does is just a way of bringing us close to Her. And everyone wants to be close to God, so why not, we can worry all we want -- and good for us!

Of course, our capacities are human and limited, our ability to worry is weak and contemptible compared to the Worry God's. Our worries are small, personal, and temporary, whereas if you ask the Worry God, she has real problems. Furthermore, when you or I worry, we can only think of one or at most just a few things at a time -- but we are also being completely oblivious and forgetful about all kinds of other things that we're not even paying attention to, which we could really be worrying about. But the Worry God has infinite capacity; She worries about all things at once, and with an unlimited intensity of pure Divine Worry energy.

Let us submit our worries to Her as a sacrifice.

You may know that various kinds of Hindus like to put stuff on their foreheads to symbolize their religious affiliations. So they have a red dot between their eyebrows symbolizing the third eye of one god or another, or they may have three horizontal white lines on their foreheads symbolizing the god Shiva, or they'll have yellow lines, or red in the part of their hair, or whatever. So maybe it wouldn't necessarily be inappropriate to have a similar symbol for the Worry God. Here it is:

            ____      ____      ____      ____   
           /    \____/    \____/    \____/    \
            ____      ____      ____      ____   
           /    \____/    \____/    \____/    \
            ____      ____      ____      ____   
           /    \____/    \____/    \____/    \

This symbolizes the wrinkles on the Worry God's infinite Forehead. While omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent, this God is without attribute.

The Worry God is more ancient than any other God; her age is measured in evolutionary terms, since you can see her symbol, the sign of her presence on the very foreheads even of Apes, so she must be at least as old as the evolutionary split between Apes and Humans. She is worshipped in her true form even by some animals! Although ancient, she was discovered only now! (January 2001)

Let me tell you a secret: The Universe itself is itself pervaded by the Worry God. You may close your eyes and think everything has disappeared, or sleep a blissful night, but the Worry God never shuts Her eyes and always remains awake, worrying about every chipmunk's nut-cache and every baby's breathing. The Worry God is closer than your heartbeat -- She must be so, because how else could She worry about everything in such detail?

She is the Divine Worrying Mother, who expresses her infinite and all-encompassing love for us by worrying intensely about every one of our overwhelming or even just niggling concerns. When you feel that emotional clutch of worry in your heart, know that the God of Worry's loving hand has just touched your heart, gently and soothingly holding you close, breathing in and out with you.

Although noone has to worship the Worry God, the fact is that almost everyone already does. Christians especially can do really well at it, because the whole idea of Christianity is that humans are supposed to be totally different from God, that the essence of being human is being a filthy dirty sinner, but then if you like to think of yourself that way then you can also get the God of Guilt to intervene and forgive you and take your sinful guilt away. With the Worry God, too, being different from God is the way to go, so the Christian approach is very good. See, the Worry God doesn't really want us to be like Her. I mean She's flattered, of course, that we should want to emulate her by worrying as much as we can, but actually the truth is She only wants us to visit Her once in a while, maybe once a week, maybe on Sundays, say (or any day), but not more often than is necessary. Really, less often is fine, because the Worry God is happier if we just have good things to keep ourselves busy with -- it gives Her less to worry about.

I mean, the more we worry, the more She worries, because she'll worry about us worrying, as if She didn't already have enough to worry about. And even if we actually go to Church to worship the Worry God, then that is something more for Her to worry about: There we are sitting in church, bored and wondering when we can go to lunch, not really having a good time, so the Worry God feels responsible, and frankly, she would rather not have to worry about that. She would rather see you sleep in, take it a little easier on yourself, treat yourself a little better. So only as often as we really want to, we can worship Her, that'll be plenty. Really, we shouldn't worry about it.

Some people, though, are great devotees, meditating constantly on the Worry God, so much so that they begin to assume Her Holy attributes. This is good, because every God needs some amount of worship and the devotion of at least a few disciplined practitioners and spiritual seekers to follow her. If you do a lot of worrying, it's clear that you want to feel close to the Worry God. And She loves you for it, most definitely. But realistically, from a God perspective, you know, She doesn't really need that many single-minded devotees. It would be just quite fine to have only a few, the Worry God isn't greedy or ambitious, She just wants things to work out all right, and really there's no need for a big fuss and drama about it, no huge institutional Church of Worry or holidays or anything, that's too much. Just a little remembrance once in a while, in the midst of the day, or at night before bed, that's all She asks. So just remember, once in a while, your personal connection with the Worry God, and maybe make a little mental sacrifice to Her. She will be very happy, and shower blessings upon you.


Copyright © 2000-2002, Thomas C. Veatch. All rights reserved.
Last Modified: April 21, 2002