“There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear, because fear expects punishment.” 1 John 4:18 (CEB)
I feel like a broken record these days (you remember records don’t’ you?) – music playing and then it hits a little scratch and gets stuck, repeating the same sound at the point of stuckness over and over and over again; to the point of agitation. That is how I feel about fear these days; so much of my life is based on choices out of fear rather than love.
Fear acts like a drug in my world – altering my consciousness, distorting my perceptions, leaving me wanting for illusion that have never existed, except in the darker recesses of my mind.
I feel uncomfortable sharing about how fear rules and ruins my life for…fear of looking stupid. I want people to see me and lean on me as a spiritual director, a shepherd to the shepherdless.
But if I am so damn scared, how can people come to me for anything?
I also have a hard time sharing this reality of fear with other people of faith because the hobgoblins of religiosity come out: quoting Scripture; trite expressions something along the lines of “if only you had more faith…”, blah blah, blah.
But then it happens, this sort of awakening. No, fear does not miraculously disappear from my life, but what does happen quite quickly is that giving a shit about what other people think of me dissipates into thin air. I am called by God to be real and authentic, and if my realness is more velveteen rabbit and ragamuffin than saintly, then so be it. Screw the naysayers, hobgoblins and the pedantic screaming voices in my head telling me otherwise.
I am real. I am ‘entheos.’
And I am scared to death to take risk that involves stepping out in faith. I do not believe God will magically catch me if I take a leap of faith (as the old adage goes). I do not believe I will sprout wings if I leap. Truthfully, I have more faith that if I took a leap of faith most likely I would fall flat on my face…
But how to counter act this fear poison thingy that ruins my faith.
What would happen if fear dies? What would my world look like if I truly allowed God’s all consuming Perfect Love to sink into my being so deeply that I made choices from that space/place rather than from fear? What would my world look like if I realized in my deepest being that there is nothing, not one thing, I can do to gain more of or lose any of God’s love (no matter what I do or do not do)? What would it feel like to live my life with nothing to lose and nothing to prove because I dwelt in the infinite love of God?!?
That, well, that would be a world worth inhabiting.