Years ago while living in Southeast Colorado we took a tour of Picketwire canyon. http://www.exploresoutheastcolorado.com/picketwire.htm. This canyon is known for 1300 dinosaur tracks along a 1/4 mile of exposed ground. The edge of a former lakebed was a walking path for herbivores and carnivores alike. There are a lot of Native American rock art sites as well as homesteader dreams and fears.
The rattlesnake pictures above was one of our attractions that day. Our tour guide had a long walking stick, would tap the snake just a little to “disorient” it, then let us grab a picture when she pulled the stick away. The snake played percussion like nobody’s business, the snake was stirred, the tail shaken. It’s one of those moments when you tell the kids to step back as you lean in for a good photo, YOLO!
When fear grips us, we do funny things. We get all tightened up in a ball, ready our muscles for a sudden snap, strike out and maybe even give a warning. One of the characters in Shawshank Redemption reminds us of fear and our real desires, “It’s a terrible thing to live in fear. All I want is to be back where things make sense, where I don’t have to be afraid all the time.” The quote speaks to the reality of being in prison for years and the difficulty coming out. I just want to be where things make sense and I live in the known, not the unknown.
The Bible says “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.”So I sit and wonder why are my fears not cast out, what could help?
1. It’s been a recent conviction that I am the sum of my thoughts. As an introvert prone to overthink things and gather around me voices similar to my own, I am becoming keenly aware of the result. The angst I feel about this topic or that topic is rooted and growing a plant I’m not interested in. As I’ve taken a break from gathering more fuel for my angst on certain things, I see God’s perspective on the same issue and it’s rather different.
2. Many of my fears are similar to the cry of humanity. Do I belong, Does my life have meaning, Does my life have value and/or Does it all really matter? Problems always stem from answering those questions outside of what God has already said about us. If you want a known to live in to cast out fear, God is the only place for a solid rock known.
3. In an anxiety based society, one of our attempted cures is information. We become data junkies as a way to minimize our fears. The problem is, more information leads to more thinking about the issue that’s causing the fear. The only solution… get more information… round and round it goes. We don’t slow down enough to reframe the question, we just go out and buy 1,000 rolls of toilet paper, who came up with that as a solution. By the way, I bought a box of 400 grit sandpaper disquised as TP. It was the only thing left and we were down to two rolls.
4. A realization that the herd instinct is more likely to run you off of the cliff than inquiring of the Lord and living in confidence about His ability to care for us.
I pray the recent events of our day will cause you to think about the issue of what drives your life. I pray that it’s driven by faith and not fear, strength not weakness, love and not self, and a sound mind. It’s part of being a beacon of light in our reactive world.