Saturday, July 4, 2009

living free

Fear is like weedkiller. When used constructively it can warn you about danger and keep you from doing really stupid and dangerous things, like walking too close the edge of a cliff. There are places along the rim of the Grand Canyon where signs are posted warning people to keep behind the railing. There is a good reason. The rock outcroppings are not the most stable, and there are very severe dropoffs - one is called the Abyss and the drop is 5,000 ft! It is a wise person who follows the rules and stays behind the railing.

But all too often fear is misplaced,used to control people, and becomes paranoia. It is like the person who never goes out of their house because they are afraid something bad will happen. That is no way to live. Like weedkiller, fear can kill initiative ,creativity, life itself, just as weedkilller can kill not only the weeds, but any other beneficial plant it touches -and can poison the water system of a community if used too much. The problem that brings weeds most often is poor soil, and the solution is improving the soil, and making it better able to sustain beneficial plants.

Fear is also like antibiotics, for the same reason. In critical situations, with careful study, they can be used. But all to often they have been used as a blanket cure-all and have two bad effects. One , some bad bacteria develop resistance to the antibiotic , rendering them useless in the future (to all). And they destroy both good and bad bacteria, rendering the person's immune system vulnerable. For this reason many doctors quit prescribing them in many situations and focus on long-term solutions to improve overall health.

So it is with life. Bumps and bruises will happen, but there is great opportunity in living free from fear. Take a few chances, don't let fear close you out. Even in a post-911 world when the constant mantra from many voices is "be afraid, be very afraid" Remember, Jesus said he had come that we might have an abundant life, and that the truth would set us free.:)

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