Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Be Not Afraid!

It is always possible for life to go south or turn sour. Occasionally, it actually does. In spite of this potential we cannot live lives paralyzed by fear. Sadly, we live in a culture that is often overwhelmed with fear. The news media and our leaders are often major proponents of this fear. Certainly there are times in life when fear is justified and real. The truth, however, is that most of our fears are in our heads and never actually happen to us. Most of us will go through life without being robbed, mugged, or murdered. Our homes won't burn down. We won't die in an airplane crash or be kidnapped. Even though a meteor may have destroyed the dinosaurs, the chances are pretty slim that another one will hit the earth in our lifetime. Most of us will live quiet lives that will be a blend of happiness and joy, sadness and pain. There have been many occasions of happiness and joy in my life. I have shared many of them with you in these thoughts. As I sit here I am trying to recall any terrible things that have happened to me. I'm struggling to come up with anything of major significance that has been life altering. When I was young a few girls broke my heart. I got fired from one job. In my thirties I had a health crisis that resulted in some major surgery. In my forties I was nearly killed in a car wreck. In my fifties I was diagnosed with some health issues that might kill me someday. Looking back, I guess there hasn't been too many bad things happen to me. Overwhelmingly, my life has been free of calamity and other terrible happenings. Many of life's challenges are nothing more than life's inconveniences and annoyances. One of my life goals is to not live in fear. When I wake up in the morning I don't worry about all the misfortune that could happen to me. Way back in 1978, when Pope John Paul II became pope, the first words he said to the world were "Do not be afraid"! Today I say these words to you. Do not be afraid and let your lives be molded by fear. Yes, there is evil and pain in the world but life and people are essentially good. Live lives of hope and optimism. Believe in the power of faith and love. Living without fear does not mean we are always courageous. Being courageous simply means facing your fear and not letting it dominate you. Courageous people have fear but they ignore it. President Franklin Roosevelt, in his first inaugural address said to the American people, "We have nothing to fear but fear itself". He was a wise man and his words are true. Do you want freedom in your life? If so, cast off your fear and live.

1 comment:

Bryan said...

Good words Michael. Very timely.