Sunday, January 20, 2013

Hooked by Fear

Fear Not

God, 365 Times!!

I am slow to learn a lesson. In fact, most of my life lessons have come through taking a "life field trip" in place of learning in the "classroom." I was the "why" kid growing up, and typically insisted on doing what the adults in my life attempted to protect me from-consequences. Recently the ancient directive by God to "fear not" was solidified in my mind on a late night fishing trip. And yes, I had to learn this lesson on a "life field trip."

My husband and I decided to take our fishing poles and cast off a dock located near a cemetery. It was dark and cold when we arrived, and the area was vacated. As we began to park, we saw a truck with its headlights pulling in. I casually remarked that perhaps "Jack the Ripper" had been resurrected. As we walked down to the dock, my mind began to wonder about the unknown visitor we thought was present. My mind, and admittedly my husband's mind, began to allow fear to dictate our behaviors. After every cast, we both looked back toward the cemetery and began to imagine apparitions appearing to overtake us. Really, I was more concerned about who had pulled in after our arrival. My husband began unsheathing his fillet knife in his mind, and role played the many ways he would protect his "fishing damsel" in distress. Actually, I believe he was rehearsing self-preservation techniques. After a few short minutes, we decided to call it quits and go back to our truck.

The short journey back to the truck was not without consequences. In my fear, I had not anchored my bright, pink crappie lure, with two treble hooks, to my pole. I was completely self-absorbed and not realizing that I was jerking my pole back and forth as I continually scanned my environment with as much variance in degree as my body would allow. What snapped me out of my reactive responses was my husband's unusual use of colorful expletives cast towards me. Suddenly, my fear turned to curiosity, and as I turned to inquire the nature of my husband's use of words, I saw the consequences of my fear dangling from my husband's temple-my bright pink fishing lure. I had hooked my husband. The lure initially struck his nose, bounced up to his eye, and then decidedly landed above his eye and attached to his temple. Thank goodness his hat, and not his skin, took the hook. After I recovered from laughter, I then realized why God continually tells us to "Fear Not."

When we fear, we hook into ourselves and not God. Fear prevents us from trusting God and places trust in ourselves. It creates a self-protective layer that refuses to acknowledge others around us. We damage others with the hooks of our words, our actions, and our careless omissions. "Fear not," because we make poor choices. Trusting in God empowers us to care about what is happening to those surrounding us. It reminds people that if my God can take care of me then He most certainly can take care of them. Why "fear not?" Because "He is with us." Today, hook into God and not fear.

Father, today, help me to trust you. Remind me that fear creates pain in those around me. I will trust in you, because you will always be with me. In you, Oh Lord, I trust. Amen