Sunday, August 14, 2011

GUATEMALA 2011: (15) Living With Fear

The Fear of the Lord is the Beginning of wisdom. Work out your own salvation with Fear and trembling before the Lord. Ye though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will Fear no evil.

How comfortable are we with Fear? Do we understand Fear?

I believe that Fear is a force that can be bridled like the power of horse. Alternatly, unbridled it will run wild and will end in certain chaos and death. So what are we to do with Fear? For too many of us, we allow fear to run away with us and steal from us an intended abundant life.

I was asked a question today, "Are you willing to live with a certain amount of necessary Fear in you life?" My thoughts were captivated by this question because I had previously wondered if the man who asked the question was fearful of anyting. As I have contemplated this question coming from this man I have come to some conclusions.

Fear is a welcome and necessary part of our make-up. Fear is often hijacked and misdirected when we lose sight of our belief. When our priorities are set correctly, Fear has no control and can offer no threat to us. What do you fear when the only Fear you have is the one who loves you most?

So does this mean we are expected to live without feelings of apprehension, doubt, or even at times terror? I don't think so. I think this means that our Fear is to exist within a context. This context is etched on the steel of who we are. If you know who you are and what you believe, then Fear works as designed. It provides us direction rather than confusion.

What would you grasp if you weren't afraid to reach? What could you gain if you were not afraid to risk what you have? What are you holding onto so tightly that forever restrains your hands? It is always necessary to let go in order to climb.

Why should we fear to fall when we know that the One who created gravity is the One who will pick us up? Why do we fear for our possessions when the One who gives is the One who can take away?
Why do we fear for our lives when they are not our own and we were bought for a price?

We claim to be followers of Christ, and yet we give away our birthright for the lies of fear. If the God of the universe created us, and we believe Him to be good and omnipotent, and we beleive that He loves us above all else, then we should live a life that bears the integrity of our belief.

We have become a people of fire insurance rather than a people of fire. We have traded our passion for security and comfort. We give away our blessings for self-righteousness and metaphorical robes of white. We have so much potential of doing good, even unto the least of these... and yet we rob our souls of this treasure with our desperate struggle to cling to the temporal things that clutter our lives.

During this past week I have stood shoulder to shoulder with men and women who don't have the things of life to cling to like many of us. I can tell you with sincerity and an intent awareness that I do not measure up. Not even close.

It is time for us all to examine what is in our grasp. And likewise, what is within our reach. What do we Fear? Does our Fear lead us, or does it simply still our feet and cloud our eyes.

Photos from Convent Las Capuchinas, Antigua Guatemala

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