Church of God, Carmichael, CA
C. W. Naylor, 1930
[Original Page Numbers]
FERTILIZING THE WORRY TREE
Some people are not satisfied to have a worry tree and to permit it to grow as it will. They fertilize it and water it. Oh, no, they do not mean to do this ! Nevertheless they do it. They would like to be rid of their worries. Very often they worry over their worries. I once knew a woman who was so given to worry that when everything was going well and she could find nothing to worry about she would worry because she thought things were going too well and would certainly bring trouble. Nor is she the only person of this sort I have seen.
But how do we fertilize the worry tree? There are many ways. Some of them we shall recount.
First, we increase our worries by failure to face the facts calmly. We are like some horses. We become frightened at some things which have in them nothing that ought to frighten us. When we come to realize this we are sometimes quite ashamed of ourselves. When there is a threatening or unpleasant prospect before us and we are tempted to worry over it we should not allow ourselves to become excited or agitated. We can meet things in calmness better than we can when agitated; when we are masters of ourselves better than when we are the prey of our fears.
We should face the factsall the facts. We should  not merely take note of the ones that oppress our feelings most. Our tendency naturally is to look at the worst side and to be impressed by the most threatening things, and to overlook the favorable elements. We are influenced by our feelings more than by sound judgment and by our fears more than by our courage. Troubles often look much worse than they are. In fact, we can usually bear them better than we suppose we can, but we are naturally disposed to take one look at things, then fear the worst. One of old said, "I feared a fear and it came upon me." Why did his fear come upon him? Because fear made him adopt an attitude that opened a way for its coming. He threw down his shield of faith. He began to tremble and shrink. If he had resolutely faced his fear it probably would never have come upon him.
Failure to give weight to the facts we know will fertilize the worry tree. Very often we know that we can meet things if we will. We know there are certain favorable aspects we should consider. But instead of giving attention to these we look entirely to the unfavorable things. We forget the weapons of our warfare are mighty through God. We are like a soldier who told an experience he had in our Civil War. One day he was riding out with a comrade when suddenly they came face to face with two of the enemy. There was a lively exchange of shots. In the end one of the enemy lay dead upon the ground while the other was severely wounded. Upon returning to camp this man examined his revolver. To his surprise not a shot had been fired. His companion had done all the shooting that had over  come their enemies. He had sat on his horse like a statue, forgetting all about his part. I fear all too many of us when we face a conflict forget our weapons and the ability we have to use them, and instead of fighting we worry, and worry.
Another mistake we make is giving way to our feelings rather than controlling them. Our emotions are easily stirred, whether they be joyful emotions or the opposite. Very often bad feelings assert themselves fear, doubts, timidity, foreboding. We give place to them. We let them run riot. We fall into a panic. We should take command of our feelings. We should master them. Our action should be a response to good judgment instead of to our emotions. Many people are tormented by foreboding of evils to come and these forebodings are the source of disturbances in all the faculties. This need not be if we will control ourselves and make the intellect rather than the emotions the captain of our soul.
We fertilize the worry tree by exaggerating the possibilities of evil and by not considering the probabilities of good. When we are threatened with some evil let us ask ourselves the question, "Will this thing necessarily turn out evil? Will it necessarily prove to be what it looks as tho it might be? Will the results assuredly be what they promise to be?" Let us look at the factors that may balance these possibilities. Let us give due weight to the possibilities on the other hand. Let us ask ourselves whether we are not adding to the real dangers by our imagination. Let us see if we are not magnifying the chances of things going wrong. Strip  things of the seeming and get down to the reality. They will usually be found to be much less dangerous than they appear to be and we shall see that there is little if any cause to fear them.
A fertile source of trouble is self-pity. I know of nothing that can torture a soul more than self pity and this self pity has in it an element of cowardice. We say, "Oh, it is too bad that I must suffer so. It is too bad that I must have such trouble. How unfortunate I am. How many things I have to endure. Why cannot I get along as do others ? Why cannot I have an easy time as have they? Why must my way be so rough? Why must I meet so many difficulties? Oh, my poor self! What will I do?" If one wants to make himself thoroughly unhappy let him adopt such a course. It matters not whether there is anything really calculated to produce unhappiness. This of itself is sufficient. Get rid of self pity if you want to be happy for you never will be happy while you have it except with that poor sort of satisfaction which comes through self pity.
A twin sister to self-pity is a disposition to seek the sympathy of others and to enjoy telling our troubles, magnifying them in a way to excite sympathy. These things shrivel up the soul.
We often increase our fears and troubles by telling them to others. The more we think of them and the more we tell them the deeper the impression made upon our own mind by them.
A further source of trouble is questioning the loyalty of others to us or their interest in us and sympathy for us. Do not expect other people to worry because you  worry, or to fear because you fear. Friends are usually as loyal as we deserve them to be. They usually have as much interest in us as we merit by our conduct and attitude. They usually have enough sympathy for us when we actually need it. We should not expect them to have sympathy for us when we are acting in a way that tends to disgust them. If we show ourselves real soldiers and meet things with courageous, hopeful, forward looking faith, and then things go ill with us we may expect ready sympathy. If we show ourselves cowards, if we whine and sniffle, to bestow sympathy upon us would be to waste it. If we expect others to be loyal to us we must be loyal to ourselves. If we expect them to have an interest in us we must act in a way to arouse their interest.
And finally, we fertilize the worry tree by questioning God's faithfulness and love and mercy and his every act of care.
Have you been fertilizing your worry tree? If so you have only yourself to blame if it spreads itself over all your dwelling and if it sighs day and night in the mournful breeze, like the somber moaning of the pine. 
The Purpose of the Church of God is to spread and
Justification, Sanctification, Unity
Carmichael, California USA
5334 Whitney Ave. Carmichael, CA. 95608
Pastor, Church Telephone (916) 482-7128