When I was a child my dad would take all of us for a “Sunday drive”. Mom, my sisters, and I would pile into his 1950’s Chevy sedan with the green vinyl seat covers and off we’d go. I never knew where he was taking us or when we would arrive home. But two things I knew for sure: Dad would always keep us safe on our mysterious adventure and we would have fun. I completely trusted my father. When I became old enough to venture out on my own, I was not as calm and relaxed. Although I was a responsible driver, I would become mildly anxious as I envisioned everything that could possibly go wrong. Seems I had more faith when I was with my father than when I was on my own.
Why do we worry? One of mankind’s primary fears is that of the unknown but not for the reasons most imagine. It is not the uncertainty that we fear but rather how it will impact us. If I win an all expense paid vacation to a secret destination, I do not concern myself as to the location or nature of the trip if, in fact, I trust that those who planned it have my best interest at heart. If I believe emphatically that I will be fine and have a wonderful time, then the excitement and anticipation of my impending trip is exhilarating. Only when I doubt the motives or capabilities of those planning this excursion do I begin to worry. “What if the place is a dive? What if it’s dangerous?” For many there is a profound need to be able see and touch, to have tangible proof of the situation, in order to feel relaxed. Science relies on concrete evidence to alleviate doubt and create assurance. Faith, on the other hand, trusts in that which cannot be seen or touched. It is an inner knowing, a sense, an instinct (even when we do not fully understand) that guides us through life.
Fear erodes our sense of well-being and serenity. It’s also one of the root causes of anger. Faith, on the other hand, creates a sense of peace and tranquility, knowing there is more to our existence than what can be visually seen or physically felt. Science can often predict what will occur and sometimes prevent it based on relevant physical facts. Faith relies on the knowing that everything that occurs has purpose and value; that whatever is needed will be provided by our benevolent Creator; that even when life escorts you down a different path than you planned, you are fully equipped to successfully and meaningfully navigate your way through and beyond. A tiny seed finds itself buried in the Earth’s darkness yet it does not worry for it instinctively trusts that Nature has a plan for it. In its most fundamental state it relies on a higher power to shepherd it to its intended purpose.
Recently I had the pleasure of listening to Dr. Deepak Chopra on television. He spoke of peak experiences, those instances when a deeper truth is revealed to us, something Oprah used to refer to as an “a-ha moment”. It is in these Divine Inspirations that an issue is brought into the light, the veil of doubt is removed, and uncertainty dissipates. In an instant, our lives are forever changed as clarity and awareness expose Universal Truth that permeates our minds with a sacred peace.
Those who live in fear run the risk of angry episodes that put their health at risk, damage their relationships, jeopardize their jobs, and sabotage their happiness. Faith is the antidote to fear – trusting that God is fully aware of every situation that enters our lives and if necessary will either shield us from it or provide the resources we need to negotiate our way through.
Just as a child draws comfort and strength from their human parent, so do we acquire our security in our Heavenly Father who always and only has our best interest at heart. Only when we lose faith do fear and anxiety prosper.
Fear and Anger or Faith and Peace? The choice is yours. As for myself, I choose God every time.
Mark 11:22 “And Jesus said to them, ‘Have faith in God.'”
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