The sermon at church this morning was based upon a passage from the 6th chapter of Matthew which includes this verse:
David and I kept glancing at each other and nodding our heads as our pastor spoke about people being consumed with worry and fear. You see, this is something we have been talking about lately. Too many folks seemed to be overwhelmed with these emotions. They watch certain television news programs or listen to certain radio talk show hosts who do their best to stir up fear in their audience because, quite frankly, fear sells and it keeps people coming back. That’s not to say there aren’t worrisome events or situations in our lives or in the world but I honestly believe that much of what we are being sold here in America is out of proportion to reality. If you’re in Libya right now, you are allowed to be frightened. If you are in a nice Midwestern town, not so much.
I’m especially surprised by the number of people of faith who have been caught up in this whirlwind of chaos and conspiracy theories. They’ve allowed the rantings of people with an agenda to steal their peace, cause them to become suspicious and fearful, and in some cases even drive wedges between them and those who don’t buy into the same apocalyptic nonsense. If you believe what you say you do, shouldn’t your faith and trust in God/Yahweh/Allah provide you with at least some measure of assurance?
Don’t get me wrong; I know people go through very difficult trials and I’m not making light of the truly tragic events we all face at one time or another. No, I’m referring to people who are living the average American life but have become so consumed with fear and worry about some future event or situation that it alters the way they look at the world and those around them. Gold prices have soared as people literally buy into a fear of economic collapse. Fear and distrust of government or their fellow man even lead some to go so far as to build up personal weapon supplies far beyond what anyone might need for protection.
I may not go around quoting Bible verses or peppering my day-to-day speech with “God-speak” but my faith is real and personal and deep. I don’t feel the need to try to convince others that I am “godly”. Words mean nothing if not backed up with action. Neither do I feel compelled to compulsively develop means to protect my possessions or make plans for a zombie invasion. But I tell you truthfully, I possess the quiet assurance that my faith will hold me secure and I need not live in a perpetual state of fear. Sure, I have my moments. As an insomniac, I occasionally experience one of the those “middle of the night fear-fests”. (Why do things seem more worrisome at night?) However, in most cases “joy comes in the morning” and worries are set aside at daylight. I simply cannot justify ongoing fear and worry as a person of faith. Besides, there is just too much to be happy about.