Fear – How We Create It
Fear. We all have it. Sometimes it’s just this slight apprehension, or this bit of inner angst, or this uncomfortable twinge that we experience. At other times it’s utterly overwhelming, leaving us helplessly paralyzed and violently shaken right down to the core of everything that we are. At certain times and in certain situations, fear seems to stalk us. It seems to relentlessly circle us, waiting for some opportunity to pounce on what little bit of sanity and what tiny shred of hope we have left. Fear. It can be brutal. And we all have it.
In grappling with fear, we might ask ourselves how many times have our choices set the stage for the fear that we’re experiencing? How many times have our choices, in fact, resulted in the very actions that created the very things that we fear? How many times have our choices presented opportunities for fear to find some space in our lives, or increased our susceptibility to what we already fear, or made what we fear bigger than what it already is? How many times has our fear been a product of our choices?
And in contemplating these thoughts, we might ask two very profound, yet very fundamental questions. First, where am I walking? And second, who am I walking with? Where am I walking in life, and who am I walking with?
First, where do we walk? What kind of places are we walking in anyway? In good places? In the wisest of places? Are we walking in the places that everyone else is walking in simple because everyone else in walking in them? Are we walking in the kinds of places that are trendy now, but will likely fall out of favor as quickly as they fell into favor? Are we walking in places where we can fly under the radar, because in today’s cultural climate we’re frequently too afraid to be on anyone’s radar? Are we walking in places that have thrown ethics to the wind, so that we find our life’s a journey where we’re always walking into the wind? Have we chosen the places where we’re walking based on some politically-correct notion, or some vogue philosophy, or some fleeting agenda that’s not grounded in much of anything other than not being grounded?
We can walk in all kinds of places. Some are places that are good to be in. Others are not. Some will strengthen us in preparation for the next place, and others will keep us from getting to the next place at all. Some are wise and others are foolish, even though those walking in foolish places claim those places to be wise indeed. However, the question remains, where do we walk…because our fear often arises from the very places where we’ve chosen to walk. Therefore, have we chosen wisely?
Second, who are we walking with? What kind of companions have we chosen? What kind of people are walking along with us? Are they for us? Are they against us? Or are they altogether apathetic about us? Do they care are about us, or are we largely irrelevant to them? Is the journey viewed as a joint venture, or have they declared (either silently or not so silently) that it’s “every man is for himself?” Is it about the destination, or is it about a partnership in the journey to the destination? Can we count on them, or can we count on not counting on them? Who are we walking with, because our fear often arises from the people we’ve chosen to walk with.
Where am I walking, and who am I walking with? Have we chosen the right places and the right people? Or do we look around us and realize that we’re in all the wrong places with all the wrong people. Or maybe we’re in all the wrong places without any people at all. Or maybe we’re not even certain as to exactly what place we’re in or who’s in whatever place this happens to be. In other words, we’re lost. Really lost. And there’s a good chance that we’ve been lost for a long, long time. A really long time. So long in fact that we wonder if we can ever be found, and that creates a lot of fear all by itself.
Where am I walking, and who am I walking with? You might want to think about that, because those might be the very questions that you need to ask in light of the very fears that you are grappling with. It’s likely that your choices generated a lot of your fears. And so maybe you need to walk in an entirely different place, and you need to walk that ‘different place’ with the God Who is never the wrong person.
“Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”
– Psalm 23:4
© Copyright Craig D. Lounsbrough, LPC. All rights reserved. For additional resources visit www.craiglpc.com.