Fear is Flammable

Writers try to find meaning in every mundane, insignificant thing that happens in life. 

As I’ve been reminded lately, I am a writer. I didn’t say I was a good one. 

Last week, I wrote about my adventures at the gas station. I went again today. I could bore you with an account of how I did some gymnastics to maneuver into the one diesel pump (I think) at the whole stupid place. I could bore you with that stuff, but I won’t. But let me tell you a story that maybe you won’t find quite so boring and long and un-meaningful.

Once upon a time, there was a little girl who wondered, while sitting in the backseat of her Dad’s car, how on earth it was that people could touch those greasy-looking gas pumps without getting the gas on their hands. Then I eventually thought, “Nah, I’m sure technology is so advanced that not a drop escapes unless it’s into your tank.”

Then, the girl got older and started going to the magical petroleum palace. And that gas got on her hands every stinking time.

Look, I know you don’t care about my gas story. It really doesn’t seem like a big deal at all. So I’ll tell you another story. Maybe you’ll relate to this one.

Once upon a time, an irrational fear came alive. 

I know this gas business means something. It means something because it means something to me. But even though I rationalize and spiritualize, the fear lingers. The fear is, on a obvious level, of the carcinogenic fluid. But the REAL fear I have is being alone. I’ve just never heard of anyone else who had this problem. Well, until I did some Google searches. Now I don’t feel quite as singled out.

The point is that irrational fears often have a rational basis, but that doesn’t mean we should let them rule our lives. The point is that annoying things happen, and weird things, and terrible things, and maybe they’re not a punishment or a consequence of something we did. 

There’s a lot to fear in this world. There are the things that can hurt us, things that can kill us, but worst of all, there are things that can turn us away from God. But if we have God by our side, we can be confident that our souls will never perish, even if our bodies, our riches, and our memories turn to dust. 

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

2 Timothy 1:7





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