Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Fear First?

I consider myself fortunate to have grown up around water all of my life. Most of my childhood we had a modest house on a lake. When I was really little there was very little fear. I would just run and jump in the water. Before you know better you jump first and fear later. As you grow older you learn from the world to fear first and jump later. Sometimes that's a good thing.

When I got a little older I grew content with just staying in the shallow water. The deep water was scary. One day, in an attempt to help overcome my fear, my parents threw me off the boat into the water. I screamed and cried. You know what? I didn't die. It did help me overcome my fear and I loved the water even more than before, because I knew I could survive the deep water. (Lest you think my parents horribly cruel, I did have my life preserver on and they were right there, but to a kid those parts didn't register over the least initially.)

How often do we see Jesus in the gospels encouraging people around him not to fear? Sure, there are a lot of scary things going on in the world. In fact, they are everywhere. If we let fear run our lives we might ever leave our homes, maybe not even our beds. Or we can face our fears and "jump first" knowing that God goes with us. In fact, God is already where we are going, God is already fully active in the world all around us.

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