The other night we opened our small group by having everyone share a fear or something that really freaks out him or her. Before we began, I have to admit, I felt a little proud–after all, I really only had one main fear.
Too bad that fear is kind of crazy.
You see, I am terrified of something that really shouldn’t bother me. I’ve never had any experience with this thing, nor will I probably ever. Yet, the thought of it can start my heart racing, my body tingling. I’ll stay awake at night curled in a little ball, holding onto Matt’s arm as we sleep.
But if this thing is real, Matt’s arm isn’t going to help.
No, nothing can save me if the aliens come.
That’s right; I’m terrified of aliens, so terrified, in fact, that I cannot even look up a picture to place within this blog. I tried to find a picture of a UFO instead, minus the aliens, but when the pace of my breathing quickened, I had to stop.
I know they are probably not real, and I also know that, even if they are real, they most likely aren’t coming for me. Unless they can read minds and know I’m currently typing about how afraid I am and they come for me and then they take me to the mother ship and they stick those probe thingies in my eyeballs and then they impregnate me some little alien baby that will burst forth from my stomach in four months (they grow quickly) killing me and setting forth their plan to take over the human race.
By the time it was my turn, I had heard fears ranging from giant camel spiders in Iraq to snakes to sinking in the ocean, and I felt like I could have a panic attack. I didn’t even realize that I shared some of these fears, and I was sure when I talked of my fear of aliens to the group, I might send some of us over the edge. But everyone just stared at me and gave a polite chuckle….
I know the fear is irrational, but, nonetheless, it is real. When Matt is away on a trip and I hear a noise in the dark, my mind goes to strange places. And while fear can serve a purpose–we stay away or are cautious of unsafe environments–this fear does nothing useful.
And, unfortunately, when I really began to think about this topic, I found that I have a list full of unproductive fears:
What if my children don’t love God when they’re older, and they rebel? What if they don’t love me? What if one of them gets sick–really sick? What if something happens to Matt?
The list could go on and on. And while the above list at least covers real people in my life and lists more rationale fears, the end result is the same: the fear gets me nowhere.
And since I’m too busy to waste my time dwelling on the unproductive, I choose to place my thoughts elsewhere:
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things” (Philippians 4:8, New International Version, 2010).
Not on snakes.
Not on spiders.
And definitely not on aliens.
(No picture available)
What frightens you? How do you overcome fear?