Our daily prompt this morning asks how my life would be different if I had no fear. Ah! Now here’s a question my analytical mind can really chew on.
If I had no fear of people totally avoiding me, I could be totally selfish and rude. I could be greedy and gluttonous. But alas! If I eat whatever I want whenever I want today, I fear I’ll be a 250 lb lump rolling around in a wheel chair without a muscle — or a friend — to my name some years hence.
If I had no fear of ever having to give an account of my life I could simply ignore all my responsibilities, move into the Public Library and become their #1 bookworm, devouring novels every day. (And become a 250-lb lump rolling around in a wheelchair without a muscle to my name some years hence.)
If I had no fear of germs, or living in a despicable mess and/or dying of food poisoning, I may never bother to clean house. (Well, maybe for a few days.)
Sometimes bad things happen to people: unavoidable illness; drug side effects; accidents; whatever. My heart goes out to people who find themselves where they would never be if they had any choice. I had a good friend who was diagnoses as bi-polar and put on drugs for that; in a year she went from a size four to a size 16. (Thankfully, once balanced, she recovered her great personality.) It’s another matter if I bring these woes on myself by being careless, sloppy, heartless or self-centered. Something to fear. A healthy fear does offer motivation.
I’m terrified of sharks with their huge teeth. I’m not going on an ocean cruise anytime soon, just in case. If I weren’t terrified of sharks, I wouldn’t be going on an ocean cruise anyway, because I fear bankruptcy. (Which is why I also fear to blow all my money on any other luxury.)
And on a different, realistic level, I’m afraid of growing older with the attendant infirmities and restrictions. I’m afraid of dementia. I’m afraid of dying, of either of us being widowed, of being unable to support myself either physically or financially. I know these things are unavoidable; they WILL indeed be real in our lives at some point. To what extent no one can say.
I also fear the possibility that our country may be taken over and ruled by a charismatic tyrant, intolerant religious extremists, or criminal organizations. Or that lax law enforcement and corruption will give rise to vigilantes who decide on their own who needs be exterminated. It’s not impossible.
I have to look above these fears or they will petrify me. Sometimes we simply must ignore those fears buzzing around us like flies waiting to land.
Sometimes I need to grab a Divine Flyswatter:
“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah.
There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the most High. God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved: God shall help her, and that right early.” Isaiah 46:1-5
Another niggling fear:
I was delighted when I called up this blog and was actually able to get here! Based on my lack of success this past week — watching my browser spin and spin to no avail — I’m fearing that very soon I won’t be able to access this site again. Then what?
In that eventuality, you’ll find me blogging at Swallow in the Wind, my poetry blog.
As to fear of disaster or emotional turmoil, I’ll address that with this poem I wrote last summer: It Only Comes to Pass