Thursday, December 29, 2016

Death by Fear

I follow a blog written by an Episcopal priest--a woman a few years younger than I, who recognized her call to the priesthood at almost mid-life.  I think it's fascinating when women bring the richness of a "previous life" to ministry.  In fact, I believe every priest or preacher should be required to have several years of non-ministerial life experience before even being considered for a ministerial calling.  It only makes sense, doesn't it?
One of Terri's recent posts--of her Christmas sermon,actually--gave me food for thought.  She spoke of light coming into great darkness...the kind of great darkness that threatens to take over our exhausted, ravaged, divided 21st-century world.  And yet, new life and light are birthed out of darkness.  She posited that it is fear...fear that threatens to pervert the process of re-birth. 
It's true, isn't it?  Fear lies that the light will never return...that darkness threatens to remain forever; then thrives on the ensuing chaos and uncertainty. 
Fear then gives birth to all the other negative emotions:  anger, hatred, jealousy, greed.  The strong negative energy of those emotions wears us down to where we are easily led; completely malleable in the hands of anyone with the determination and resources to take control.  Don't believe for a minute that there are not people out there who are practically born with the instinct and talent for exploiting fear and controlling huge numbers of followers.  THAT is evil incarnate.  THAT is what every despotic leader or preacher who has ever walked the earth has had in common:  The ability to incite and exploit fear.
Unsavory forces in control of mass media in this country and around the world have spread so much fear that we are perfectly ripe for the plucking by the next demagogue to come along.  In fact, we're so fear-ridden that we've not been passive participants in the process...we've been actively seeking to anoint a "savior."  And we all know where that has put us, now. 
Those of us who might not yet be completely crippled by the rampant fear need to start asking the right questions and making our voices heard.  I'm here to ask the most primary question of all:
What are we afraid of?  Dying?
News flash, folks:  We are all going to die. 
It's one of the surest, most inarguable fact of life.   One that even the rightest of right-wing lie-rags cannot label "Fake News."  We die.  Period.
Given that fact, isn't it merely a definition of insanity to let ourselves be consumed with panic over a natural fact that has existed since the dawn of life?
You are going to die.  Get over it. 
Death shouldn't be what scares us.  What should cause us to quake in our boots is wasting our lives fearing death.
Honestly, how are we making the most of the days we're allotted to enjoy this beautiful planet if every day is contorted by the dread of their end?   Why would we want to stay forever in a place that has been made practically unlivable by fear and all the ugly, cold emotions that spring forth from it?
We have to reject fear.  We have to resolve to accept mortality as the nature of things, and then live our lives until they end.  If we can do that, fear will have no power over us, and we can work toward making our planet a place with a bright and hopeful future.  For our children, and their children. 
Because if we don't...a time will come when there will be no children.  And no planet. And no future. 


  1. Fear impacts us on so many levels, stopping our creativity in every way, eventually suppressing all of life...until finally someone is able to break out of the fear and respond in a more creative hopeful way leading the way for the rest of has always happened, eventually in all of history...but when, how will it happen this time? Or, will it be too late?

    1. I think each of us who recognizes the destructive force of fear needs to believe that WE are, or can be, that someone who leads the way for the rest. The more leaders into the light, the faster we'll get there.