'Fear not' ...yet we do! We're afraid of swine flu, Muslims, liberals, conservatives, that guy in the White House, the guy who used to be in the White House, and the woman who wanted to be in the White House. We're afraid of the past repeating itself and the future not fulfilling our dreams. Maybe fear is stronger than faith after all?
Every other e-mail I get (ok, I'm exaggerating a little) is filled with fear. I almost don't want to open them anymore.
Why are we so afraid? Maybe we don't believe God is big enough. If we did we wouldn't be shaking in our boots about things that may never happen.
Life is tough. Threats are real. God says that He's here with us. We can bow to the toughness of life, the real and imagined threats of a world out of whack or we could choose to lean into a God who keeps on saying 'don't be afraid'.
I think we get a strange satisfaction out of being afraid and even being fear mongers ourselves. It gives us a sense of power. We can rant and rave with what we think is righteous indignation at people and situations that we often don't have clue about. And when we link up with other ranters and ravers we think that 'them' plus 'us' is a majority, righteous in outlook and practice.
It's a recipe for disaster.
Fear breeds low grade insanity. We take refuge in our e-mail assaults and our blog postings. We sign petitions that nobody ever sees ...and we think by doing all this that we are making an impact.
In fact, we are but the impact we make isn't good. We just raise the bar on other people's fear levels. We push their buttons. They, in turn, push ours.
Maybe it's time to push back in different ways.
For everyone who is fearful of Muslims, try befriending one.
For everyone who is fearful of liberals, find one and dialogue (not argue) with him/her. Liberals do the same with a conservative. Dialogue implies listening by the way.
For everyone fearful of swine flu, use common sense and develop good health habits. If you get sick drink plenty of liquids and stay home until you get better.
If you don't like the current inhabitant of the White House start praying for him. Let's see what happens to your attitude.
If you don't want the past to be repeated make sure you know your history.
If you're fearful that your future won't be what you had planned put your trust in God who has your days all figured out. His plan might even be better than yours. What do you think?
If you're worried that the world is going to go to hell in a handbasket quit watching TV, turn off your computer, leave your house and in God's name find someone you can feed, love, tutor, visit or care for. Make the world a better place.
I think we stay 'fearful' when we don't put our life into motion in constructive ways. Let's face it. Bad things will happen. We can, however, be a force for good. Instead of living in 'fear' we can act in 'love'.