That fear thing

Is it just me, or do human beings hold onto fear like it’s a mandatory part of our dress code? Whether it’s the weather, economic uncertainty, loss of companionship, or a real or imagined physical malady, each and every one of us has our “favorite” bogey man. We all have at least one thing that goes bump in the night and makes us dive under our pillow.

My personal case of the willies usually appears in the shape of tomorrow. I fear the future. For me, the dark shadows waiting around the corner of the calendar are the hardest things to face. Despite the fact that I have survived for 52 years without anything going wrong tomorrow, I can still be convinced that calamity awaits on Thursday.

Fear has the easiest job in the world, because it never has to prove itself. For over a half-century my Thursdays have been pretty good, on average, as have my Mondays, Tuesdays, etc. but that doesn’t make fear a failure; it just resets itself and says, “well, you dodged this one, but Saturday looks even worse!” Fear is an infomercial that never has to pay the money-back guarantee.

As I was going through today’s readings, it struck me that the Bible is filled with reassurances. For thousands of years, in hundreds of ways via dozens of authors, Abba tells us over and over, “Do not be afraid. I am with you.” Our eternal father obviously knew that his children were a frightened lot. He also knew that there were going to be as many kinds of fears as there would be different kinds of people.

So, the next time the floor squeaks, or the market drops, or your boss calls, or your angina aches, close your eyes, take two deep breaths, and listen. “Do not be afraid. I arm with you, always.”

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