“There are very few monsters who warrant the fear we have of them.”
Good morning, friends! I hope you had a great week last week. I was at camp with three great kids, and now I’m beat! But it is a great kind of beat, so off we go.
The events of the past week and the direction of our country cause me to reflect on our ability to create and maintain community. We seem to be trending away from community and symbiotic relationship and I shudder for the consequences. What can I do? What can you do? We can be champions of community and relationship.
The commonly understood basis for our declining sense of community is fear. I would like to add ignorance but I cannot speak well of it, so I won’t; I’ll stick with fear. This past week at camp I was asked to define “freedom”. Easy answers came quickly but soon faded like smoke. Examples left too many spaces untouched. It proved to be a very challenging exercise. So too is defining fear. I can neither define it nor describe it well but I can recognize the evidence of it and the damage it leaves in its wake. I can also confidently say that most fear comes to us through our eyes. Much less fear comes through our ears. And very, very little comes through physical touch. Most of our fear is collateral damage of judgement; we create our own false monsters.
The supermajority of fears I’ve had in life were unwarranted, like spider webs holding me back. They had no real power; I simply allowed my emotions to get the best of me. Can you relate? I’ll bet you can.
Recently my wife was challenging our kids on a matter that is common to homes with multiple kids: sharing. That’s mine. You stole it. You took it. Don’t touch it. Blah, blah, blah. My wife wonderfully touched the heart of the matter: choice. Speaking to the kids she said, “You have to decide if you want to be a person who shares or not. Your stuff may be lost or damaged or not returned. It happens and you can’t control it. You have to choose to be a sharer or not.” She is a wonderful mom. So too with fear. You have to decide if you will live in fear or in community. You will be rejected, opposed, offended, offensive, overjoyed, saddened, bored, angered, everything. Your choice is whether to live in community or fear. I choose community. I reject fear. I pray you will, too. Have a great week.