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Choosing Trust VS Fear

July 3, 2015

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I was a Girl Scout and went to Girl Scout camp from elementary school through high school.  The first year I went was scary in different ways.  I was away from home for the first time and I was in a new environment.  There was an old bridge near by the camp that rumbled when cars went over it.  You could hear periodic low rumbles and groans.  At the first campfire someone asked what that was.  We were afraid of what was making the sound.  The counselors said “That is a bear growling out there growling.  You need to stay in your tents at night so you aren’t eaten.”  Reality is that if there were bears a canvas tent isn’t much protection. I have no idea why we were told that but it made me afraid to walk at night.  For some reason I was walking with a counselor by myself the next night.  I was shining my flashlight from side to side to see if I would see the bear.  The shadows were moving and bouncing and I was getting more fearful.  I was seeing strange images in the shadows that moved quickly.  I asked the counselor if we could go back or if I could hold her hand.

She didn’t hold my hand.  She said “Let’s stand still for a minute.  I will be right here but I want to show you something.”  She gave me one of the greatest insights someone can give someone.  She said “Stop.  Turn off your flashlight.  Close your eyes. Now open you eyes.”  There was a full moon.  We could see clearly as if there was a street light.  As my eyes adjusted to  the moon light, I didn’t need my flash light to walk.  The shadows I made by flashing my light from side to side so quickly was increasing my fear with each step.  Once I turned off my flashlight there were not the moving shadows. The world wasn’t fearful but a most wonderful place to walk.   I was creating my own fear and accelerating it as if it was the Old Faithful geyser in Yellowstone Park.

The moon light became my friend. To this day I love to walk in the moon light.   I love to drive at night with the moon light.  You can see the deer better by the side of the road.  The counselor that told us about the noise being bears created fears.  The counselor that helped me walk by the moon light gave me trust and hope.   I have often thought about how someone moves from fear to trust.  There are people that can do that for us.  We might even call them “guardian angels”.    I thought of Jimmy Steward in “It’s a wonderful life”.  The guardian angel helps him see hope and trust rather than fear and despair.  There was a remake with Marlo Thomas “It happened one Christmas”.  Have you ever thought of yourself as a guardian angel?  It might be that you are the person that can bring someone to see trust and hope rather than fear and anxiety.  Bill Wilson is credited with the quote “To the world you may be one person but to one person you may be the world.”

In Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7) many quote “don’t worry”.  It isn’t “don’t worry, be happy”.  It is don’t worry because you can help create a wonderful world for yourself and other.  One needs to read the whole context of this verse.  We are told “You are salt – You are light”.  Salt gives flavor and preserves food.  Light shows us a path and a way.  Jesus shares a way of life, ways of relating, ways of caring for self and for others.  We are given cautions about how we judge and think of ourselves and others.  We can create hope and trust rather than share fear and despair.

Often my most anxious moments were made worse by my own creation.  Yes there were troubles but they were accentuated and out of proportion. Many times I have closed my eyes and it is almost as if my camp counselor is standing beside me and helping me not to be afraid. Close your eyes. Take a deep breath. Know the quiet.  Know the peace.  Open your eyes to see the world in a non threatening way and you will find your path much better to travel.  You will find your world the most amazing wonderful place to be.  You can share and care for others and help them help themselves.

Make a difference in your own life by seeing clearly where there is genuine fear or made up fears.  You can do this as you watch the news as well as listening to others.  Look at the moon and take a walk of faith.

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