August 4th

Roy’s Ramblings

A few years ago a parishioner gave me a bumper sticker that read: F.E.A.R. has two meanings: Forget Everything And Run or Face Everything And Rise. Well, a quick Google search and I found that saying in a picture. Fear is necessary – It keeps us safe from harm and/or danger. We have fear of getting burned on a hot pan. We have fear of getting stung by hornets. We have fear of getting hit by a bus on a busy street. A lot of what scares us comes from life lessons – we experienced pain (physical, emotional, spiritual, etc.) from doing this before … and so … we do not want to do it again. According to many surveys … public speaking is the number one fear of Americans (even though I know many folks that have many other fears and phobias). But, I feel that this relates to the opportunity (or a history) of public embarrassment; the opportunity for misspeaking or getting facts wrong; the opportunity to be viewed as the “Village Idiot”. As is attributed to Mark Twain: “It is better to keep one's mouth shut and be thought a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.”

So how or why is this important or relevant? First, according to Google (I did not fact check this, sorry) “Fear Not” is found 365 times in the Bible. Again, not sure which translation or even if it is fact … but it sure leads into a great story. Which means that Scripture tells us, once per day each year, to not be afraid … God has our back, that “Holy Hedge of Protection” if you will, believe and God will provide. Second, we need to learn to overcome our obstacles. What rewards … what riches await us on the other side. If we are scared of snakes or spiders we may never know the pleasure of camping or hiking. If we are scared of flying we will never see strange exotic places or the cultures that are there. And, third, if we don’t overcome our fear of speaking to the stranger, the non-believer, the non-attender, the friend we just haven’t met yet … how are we going to tell the gospel story to ones that need to hear?

I encourage us all to “Face Everything And Rise” for our own good and pleasure, but also for the expansion of the Kingdom of God. The choice really is ours to make.

Be Blessed and a Blessing – Pastor Roy