We live our lives in fear. If we stopped to notice it, most of us would find that we are somewhat anxious about something remarkably often. We're afraid of big things:
- disease & physical suffering
- losing our job
- our spouse leaving us
- financial disaster
- violence, etc.
Some of these things will happen in every life. We're also chronically afraid of little things:
- we're afraid of being wrong
- we're afraid of being embarrassed
- we're afraid of our motives being discovered
- we're afraid of failure
- we're afraid of what others think about us
Fear of the big things and fear of the little things seem quite different. It seems right and natural to fear the big things and kind of neurotic to fear the little ones. We all experience both kinds of fear, and they have a common root: the need to maintain our own importance. We are anxious because we are afraid of losing status and respect. When I imagine having some awful disease - after the doctor orders tests, "just to be sure" - what I really fear is appearing inferior or pathetic. I also fear pain and death. Death is the ultimate challenge to my importance. Similarly, when I face embarrassment or criticism, what I really fear is being seen as unimportant, of little value. We don't need physical danger to make us afraid: any threat to our personal importance will do. Being ignored might make us anxious, or being noticed might be our trigger. We live in fear of having our value challenged because we aren't certain exactly what makes us valuable. Maybe, just maybe, we don't need to live in such a fragile state. Many of us would agree that there is a God who created us and that this God still exists. What many of us have forgotten, though, is that this very same God gives us our value. It is because he loves us that we are valuable, that we are important, and nothing can change that. We aren't in this life alone. We were created to live in the company of God. And with God for a companion, we really don't need to be anxious about anything. He will see to the well-being of our souls if we let him. Human beings were intended to live in the company of God, as God's companions. This is who God created us to be, but we've lost track of that identity. That's why we feel so fragile, so anxious. We think we're on our own. We're not. But we do need to seek out God. We do need to nurture that relationship.