I've been thinking about FEAR...

A Storm Of Fear

The opposite of life isn't death. The opposite of life is fear.

FEAR - that noxious stimulant that attacks our naked emotional nerve endings. That painful agitation in the presence of danger that sometimes attacks quietly by tucking itself away in the deepest corners of our hearts or attacks violently and openly, causing an extremely dramatic "storm of fear" smack dab in the messy middle of our lives.

One individual described a "storm of fear" this way:
The sun, moon and stars run away to hide. The world becomes dark and threatening. The wind whips crazily and the sky begins to fall. The earth moves off its axis and the laws of gravity cease to function. Wild erratic thoughts reach up like supercharged vines climbing for sunshine that cannot be found.

What am I to do with this kind of fear? Do I let it propel me toward a path of discouragement and depression? Many have chosen to dwell in depression's dark wood and they have known its inexplicable agony.

In the middle of the journey of our life
I found myself in a dark wood,

For I had lost the right path.

When William Styron, author of Darkness Visible and a survivor of deep depression, chose to return from the abyss, he described it as not unlike the ascent of the poet, trudging upward and upward out of hell's black depths and at last emerging into "the shining world."

We, as Christians, are empowered by the Spirit of God to choose the right path - a peaceful path where we are restored to serenity and joy by a loving, patient, ever-present God.

And so we came forth, and once again beheld the stars.
- Dante