Fear. Such a harsh word. It can be so consuming.
Much of my time is spent in fear of the future. I typically do not call it fear, I call it good sense – planning and preparing for what is to come. Yet the truth remains, it is fear that drives me to such action. I believe there is a time and a place for preparing, but when it is done to avoid a “what-if” situation, then it is done out of fear.
Fear is slavery, and a thief. The abundant life Jesus promised us cannot be acquired in a state of fear. I control things because I am afraid; I worry because I am afraid; I plan because I am afraid.
I am afraid of the “what-if” – the worst case scenario. I wrongly believe that if I can simply prepare myself for it, the “what-if” may not be such a hard blow when it comes. I cushion my fall, make sure I stay comfortable so that I may rebound quickly.
Control is what I am after and I am convinced that I have found it when I have prepared for the worst. But this is not really being in control, this is a lie that keeps me from living freely and fully. The Bible tells me to find joy in the trials I face, to welcome them. Jesus never says to play it safe. Fear robs me of that joy – how many moments have I missed because I have been busy planning for tomorrow?
There is freedom in being present. Being present means letting go. Giving up control. Letting the pieces fall where they may.
So much freedom.
When you learn to live in the present moment, you are not bound by regret of the past or fear of the future. Chains are broken and eyes are opened when you choose to be present. In that moment you find life, a deep breath. Let go and just be – then you will discover the freedom waiting that can only be found in the now.
Next week I will share with you the exercise I have been using as I learn what it is to be present.