The turmoil and uncertainty of the world today is palpable. Bombs in the streets of Paris has created anxiety for the bravest of souls and fueled the rest of us with fears for our future. Fear is the response when our survival instinct is under attack. It is the emotion we feel when we lose the control to protect ourselves. We fear anything that attacks our person-hood.
Fear distorts the image of God and the assurance of His love living inside us. It exposes the hidden reality deep in our soul of the mortality and impermanence of our lives. Fear tells us that we will not survive the future. Questions bombard our minds about how we survive the threats that have the power to destroy us. Instead of the thoughts of God controlling our mind, we live with haunting thoughts outside the realm of God’s love. Fear robs us of the capacity to be secure and safe in the present moment of today.
We overcome fear by learning how to live in the present moment connected in faith with the “Eternal Now” of God. If there was no future to worry about could you feel safe right now at this moment? When I live in the moment, I am free to let the fear of the future vacate my mind. I can’t think my way out of fear or simply deny it. But I can release the fear by dwelling in the present moment of God. To live in fear is a contradiction of the capacity to love and be loved by God.
Release your fearful thoughts and hand them over to God instead of trying to forget them. The good news is each fearful moment opens up a possibility of a new moment that has the power to release us from our fears. In the fear of the moment I have the opportunity to see beyond the present fear and grab hold of this truth in my mind; I am one with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Faith displaces fear with the knowledge God is faithful. Yes, even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil for you are with me. In the Old and New Testament hundreds of times, it commands and proclaims, “Do not be afraid.”
Thomas Merton wrote: “At the root of all war is fear: not so much the fear that men have of one another as the fear they have of everything. It is not merely that they do not trust one another; they do not even trust themselves. They cannot trust anything because they have ceased to believe in God.”
Today do not worry and fear tomorrow! Be still and know I am God. Meditate on the words of St. Patrick, Christ beside me, Christ before me, Christ behind me, Christ within me, Christ beneath me, and Christ above me.