Being mortal, vulnerable and tentative taken as a whole consolidates into an unavoidable conclusion: you’re going to die. How does that make you feel? Feelings come first as they did in childhood, hopefully moderated in due time by adult intellect. Unfortunately, this ideal process seems to be less evident every day, as it’s sadly obvious many in this comfortable society have never reached rational maturity.
Fear. I’ve really no use for it. It could be that I had too much of it as a young man, or that with age fear loses its grip on so much of what it found to hold onto in youth. In any event, today is a time when fear is rampant: being instilled, leveraged, and exploited, and as a consequence spreading like a virus.
Souls susceptible to fear-mongering strategies have failed to embrace their essential mortality. Rather than our being made so for the sake of despair and terror, life’s beauty of fleeting fragility is a construct meant to draw us closer to our Creator, and begin to thread the bond of the personal relationship and resulting redemption that draws us home once His work in us is finished.
Fear is detrimental to the sort of adult reasoning that resolves a suboptimal situation. Panic, conversely, only prolongs the sort of wretched downslope we’re being forced to observed in the current news cycle. Having worked in government, I ‘ve at times had opportunities to observe what I once termed as Hands Above the Head Running About Behavior in people who really should have known better. People who feel a need to Do Something act because they perceive doing so is expected, and they embrace hurried decisions without taking time to consider a rational course of action. Lao Tzu wrote eighty-one chapters about such decisions, one precept in which is the wisdom, “If nothing is done, then all will be well.”
That, by the way, is how nature affords protection from a virus by using our immune systems rather than unnatural forced mass immunizations. Your opinion might vary, but as I see things, doing nothing beats the hell out of killing thousands of people and injuring many tens of thousands more with a vaccine no one ever needed, like the jab that was
approved rubber stamped by the FDA this week. Good going, group think.
Certain emotions are incompatible with fear. Anger is one. The transition from fear to anger may be abrupt to the point of conferring a tactical advantage or managing a reversal, which is one great reason to avoid becoming addicted to inflicting terror on one’s designated victim group. This advice applies whether or not you brainstormed a sustainable sixty-billion-dollar pharmacological initiative because you became bored with counting the money you already had.
As a character of mine once observed, cowards can become ass-kickers if you enrage enough of them at the same time. (Feel-good bonus points to be awarded in the comments if you can name that novel). The time might be closer than any of us think.
Such consequences instruct. They teach the observant where life may be found, and warn observers from a distance. The hard lesson is that when a dearth of wisdom causes things to go south, sometimes not everyone walks away. Lost souls are the waste products of Creation in a universe where things can get real without warning. Depending on strategies of fear to keep your marks susceptible to manipulation is a plan without an exit strategy, because once you lose the power conferred by your victims’ fear, your scheme has run its course. The spirit of fear you leveraged in wickedness will turn on you then, revealing itself in the realization of the consequences you’ve brought down on yourself.
Love doesn’t engender fear. It nurtures the courage to do what one should in the face of trepidation. Courage is a learned response, one we have the duty to pass onto others once we grasp its nature and application. We are, in a sense, tomes in God’s lending library. Our Author and Finisher intends us to go forward with those who experience us from then on, whether it’s through a chance encounter, being a friend, parenting, producing a novel, or leading a country.
If you seek the deepest wisdom, fear only the judgment of a righteous God: an inevitability that no one can withstand without the spirit of Christ as an advocate. The provision He made can transform fear into joy and open the curtain between His realm and ours to the bright sunshine of unimaginable love waiting on the other side.
Time and again, one sees the admonition in Scripture: “Do not be afraid.” It’s a recognition of the spiritually myopic realm in which we are being raised up, and a recognition of the frailty of the creatures meant to one day become His eternal servants. Fear is indeed real and unavoidable here in our plane, and its antidote and antithesis is faith.
To pass out of this life into the presence of Christ is our great hope and continual motivation to keep going in a world of character-building challenges. Had He not appeared, hope would be more difficult to maintain, and today the dividing line between the faithful and unbelievers has never been more stark.
That being said, we are as I write this we are also fast approaching Rosh Hashanah, the appointed time in Judaism which Messianic scholars view in the timeline leading to His Millennial Kingdom as next up for fulfillment by Christ. Should He call His church out of the world as Paul hinted, this will be my last entry in Vae Obscurum. Ironic that I should write on the dangers of fearing death when some of us will, as Paul promised Thessalonica, “not all sleep.”
So, having said all that, what we’ve been told already by Jesus I’ll repeat: don’t be afraid. You might forget to live in the meantime.
Choose to love, -DA
In production news, the Editress is approaching ninety percent completion in Ritter’s concluding novel and Sean’s File Book Six, Sister’s Shadow. The title might or might not precede the arrival of fall, God willing that it is published at all. Should Jesus tarry in this Rapture Season, not willing any should be lost, Daniel Sean Ritter’s return to Bosnia will be worth the wait, just as it is worth the work. Both, after all, are what the faithful do, “That Others May Live.”