Facing Fears

I am writing this on Halloween afternoon/evening.  I have exactly 30 minutes to crank this out before getting the girls ready for trick or treating.  It seems like an appropriate day to talk about fears.

Today at church the title of this post was the theme of our lesson.  First I had the kids write down their fears on a slip of paper and put them in a basket.  We went around the room and drew slips, reading each fear.  We put the fears into two categories – Real or Irrational.  Our list looked a little something like this:

spiders, roaches, being trapped, falling out of a plane, losing all my friends, heights, failing in school, missing school

With only one exception (which I could argue still didn’t necessary belong in the “real” category) we put all of the fears into “irrational.”  We decided that even the ones that seemed very real, like losing all our friends or failing school, were still very much within our control.

I had chosen the bible verse Isaiah 33:6

And wisdom and knowledge shall be the stability of thy times, and strength of salvation: the fear of the LORD is his treasure.

I had spent some time with this verse trying to decipher what I felt it meant.  This I think is an excellent way to read the Bible.  Instead of counting on those newer editions which include someone else’s easier or shall I go as far as to say “dumbed down” translation, try to come up with your own.  I’ve been doing this myself for the past two lessons I’ve taught and I’ve had the children do it in small groups.

To me this verse means that using my wisdom and knowledge will bring me stability.  I can save myself a lot of anxiety if I apply logic, common sense, and history when I am facing a fear or worry.  When I’m in tears driving over a high bridge (because I’m the one who listed fear of heights), I can logically remind myself that it is incredibly unlikely that my car will suddenly tumble off.  When my husband forgets to call while he’s on a business trip, I can settle myself down with the thoughts of all the times he’s traveled and returned home safely. I can find strength in that as well as the respect I have for the Omnipresent and Omnipotent force guiding my life (fear of the LORD).  I know that whatever comes my way is a bridge I’m meant to cross that will make me stronger.  The divinity within will lead me through.

So much of what we fear is change itself.  We’re often afraid to make a move because success or failure are equally as scary.  But I do think that in many cases our fears are meant to be pushed through.  We can either dive into them and make those life-changing decisions or we can sit back and wait until we are dragged along.

So take a moment to let go of one of your irrational fears, imagine it inside of a balloon and release.