Who or What Are You Going to Fear?
By Steve Bolie of Clive, IA, USA
Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell. -Matthew 10:28 NRSV
Sitting in our living room with the lights on, the light reflecting on the windows makes the outside look very dark, darker than it really is. It reminds me of my fear of the dark, or rather fear of things in the dark. I know that kind of fear because of memories of my childhood having to go outside in the dark.
When I was growing up on the farm, we often ate our evening meal after dark when field work and chores were done for the day. All too frequently as we were eating, Dad would say, “I didn’t shut off the water in the hog waterer. Steve, go turn it off and don’t forget to pull the hose out of the tank.” It was forty or fifty yards from the house to the hog lot. One solitary light on a pole cast dark shadows beyond the farm buildings. I was brave walking out, with the lights of the house behind me. Going back was a different matter. I would turn off the water, taking care of the hose as required, and I was off! I’m pretty sure I set land speed records on those runs back to the house, as if something or someone was behind me. Of course, there never was, and it couldn’t have caught me anyway as I was going so fast.
As with Jesus’ first disciples, most fear of the dark and other things is in the mind. Jesus teaches us to fear real dangers, not the ones that exist only in the imagination. The first ones require rational thought and precautions. The latter are overcome by faith and reason.
I dwell in your presence.
Prayer of Examen
Spend a few moments recalling your day. Let details, events, and conversations drift through your memory. Offer gratitude for the day and pray to be aware of how God was present. What did you notice or feel that brought meaning? Pay attention to moments when you felt least in harmony with God’s vision for creation. Offer a prayer of confession. Pay attention to moments when you felt most in harmony with God’s vision for creation. Pray to be even more aware of and responsive to God’s presence in the days ahead. Amen.
Today’s Prayer for Peace
Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.