I hate to admit it, but I never quite outgrew ‘fraidy cat. As a kid I was afraid of big dogs, snakes, and the dark. The neighborhood Doberman terrorized the kids and other dogs, but I realize now he was just a mean dog with issues. I eventually learned the difference in good and bad snakes. They’re all good if they’re in the zoo or dead. I still sleep with a night light.
I suppose we all fear something; losing a job, germs, the stock market, or teenagers. The question is how do we handle fear?
We went to church with Jim’s brother Jerry and his wife Rayanna the other day. It’s one of those churches you don’t have to worry if you wore the right thing. The associate pastor read the announcements then welcomed the senior pastor who had just received a clean bill of health after a long wrestle with colon cancer. His message was appropriately about fear.
He said something I have thought about for several days … “fear makes ready and ready makes fearless.” He showed a powerpoint of a first baseman for a professional baseball team in the “ready position”. The next slide was a secret service man walking with the president. “Do you think either of those guys are afraid?” he asked.
He went on to make the point they both had spent years preparing for what they do. The fear of dropping the ball or not spotting an intruder made them ready. Because they are ready they are fearless.
Fear is mostly about the unknown. Several years ago a tornado buzzed through while an out-of-town friend was visiting. She had only seen tornados on the Weather Channel. I calmly took her to the basement where she threw herself of the floor crying, “Sweet Jesus save us all.” She didn’t know we were in the ready position.
The question is this: “What are we afraid of?” Fear makes us ready and makes us fearless.
“So do not fear, for I am with you: do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you: I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”