True to some instinctive impulse, we went to the store yesterday and bought a few essentials so we won’t starve – peanut butter, soup, coffee and milk, which neither of us drinks. We Marylanders have been known to mob stores just before a storm whose predictions are worse than their reality – depleting it of coffee, milk and toilet paper. Living in Texas has not moderated the urge. If I am not careful, listening too closely to the Weather Channel, could keep me stocking up on stuff I will not live long enough to use.
Fear is a powerful motivator -- and it motivates me to say and do things that are counterproductive. Words can’t overcome fear . . . any more than stockpiles of coffee and toilet paper will protect me from a storm or tornado. Preparedness, however wise, may not always protect either.
When I came into Al-Anon’s rooms, I was surprised to hear that 90% of what we fear will happen, rarely does; it’s the other 10%, of which we rarely thought, that messes us up. I worried a member of my family would take the whole family down with their drinking (causing me enormous shame). It never crossed my mind that a power greater than myself could and would intervene in their life and mine.
Almost forty years ago, I came to believe that a power greater than myself could do what I could not . . . and what the God of my understanding did when I let go of projecting my fears on the future changed my present. And He gave me the daily choice -- how to live in the present, letting go of fear and regret. That’s 14,000 days mas o menos to have chosen whom or what to serve. (Joshua 24:15)
Too often, I chose to serve fear.
Fear may be a false god – but that doesn’t make it any less real.
Whatever commands your hope will control your heart, and what controls your heart will direct your words and behavior. (Paul Tripp)
Happy New Year to thee and me, gentle reader. Hoping and praying that God of my understanding, the One who is, will guard and equip us to keep the faith He freely offers through storms, real and imagined. (Hebrews 13:20-21)