Friday, March 1, 2013

I Fear Voices

Sometimes it seems easy to only listen to voices of fear. If I am looking at a job opportunity advertisement, there are two possible fear-related voices I can hear. One voice is imploring me to apply for the job, in fear that this application may stand between me and facing the difficulties of unemployment. The second voice declares that applying for this job would be a waste of time, since I am not good enough for the job. Both of these voices shout at me at varying volumes dependent on the characteristics of the job and how I am feeling at the time. 

I think this level of cognitive effort might be what can make job searching such a taxing process. When I spend effort trying to silence these emotional voices of fear, I am not thinking clearly. Even the more healthy fear that encourages me to try can still be debilitating.

In Luke 8, Jesus’ disciples were crippled by the deafening voices of fear. The winds and waves tossed their little fishing boat so that the water began to close in. They must have been very confused at the contrast between this dangerous situation and the peaceful slumber of Jesus amidst all of it.

In this situation, it seems like the disciples may have ceased thinking clearly. The voices of fear may have been telling them that Jesus was just a really deep sleeper and he did not know what was happening. Maybe they were thinking that he was sleeping because he did not care about them. 

Finally, the disciples did what I need to do. They alerted Jesus, simultaneously admitting their fear and acknowledging his authority. He responded by calming the storm. Their fear was vanquished. They knew Jesus was in control. 

I know there is a plan and that it is a perfectly good plan. Amidst the wind, I pray that God will grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. Amen.