Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Someone once said in a sermon (and it wasn't me): "Fear is the opposite of trust." In theory, I agree with that statement. In theory. But putting it into practice is a much different story. I don't have trust issues. I am a trusting person. I have fear issues, and I don't think the two are necessarily related. I can have all the fear I want and still trust, right? That could possibly be the most absurd thing I have ever said. Of course the two are related. Then, how can I put into practice the faith and trust I preach when I am often plagued by a fear or worry that dominates the center of my being?
There have been times in my life when I have been blindsided by something I never saw coming, hurt to the tips of my toes. I think over time, as a protective reflex, I have developed this sense of fear and worry to keep the blindsiding things at bay. I think subconsciously, or maybe even a little consciously, I have devised this method to be in control of the things around me through fear. If I worry about something, then I know what the possible outcomes are, and I cannot be caught off guard. And so, time after time, when I have been led to a situation beyond my control and have been beckoned to trust, I turn to the worry instead, the worst case scenario.
It helps me to realize I am not alone in my neurotic tendencies, that I am not the only one to struggle with fear and trust. Last week, our Bishop sent a letter to all the ministers concerning this very thing--fear and worry, and he referenced a passage from Paul's letter to the Philippians: “Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.” (Philippians 4,The Message Bible Paraphrase). I am thankful for this scriptural reminder of how to put the faith into practice...let Christ displace the worry at the center of my life. And that's a best case scenario.