Thursday, March 13th – The Second Thursday in Lent
Absence of Fear
What would life be like for us is we were less fearful? I’m asking you to really think about that today–to pray about it, to focus on it, to let it sit with you until you get uncomfortable. More importantly, I’d like you to think about that through the distractions of the day.
What is likely to happen is that you will start with good intentions–“Christopher asked me to do this so I’m gonna give it a good faith effort”–and then the next thing will happen. The kids will need attention. Your spouse will not be able to find the car keys. The morning paper will be screaming its headlines at you. Your body will yearn for caffeine.
Distraction is how the Enemy of God works most frequently. Sadly, that’s all the harder he has to work most days. A little misdirection, a gnawing emotion, an important appointment, a resurfacing resentment. Any will do. As long as the Enemy can gain a little purchase on our attention, he’s perfectly happy. He does not want us to be focused on the things that really matter. He doesn’t need to stop all the light from coming in; he just needs it to be partly cloudy. That’s because we’re likely to focus on the clouds and miss the sun in between. I know this is true for you because it’s true for all of us.
Jesus doesn’t adequately explain why there are clouds or who put them there. It’s not because he doesn’t care or doesn’t have an answer. It’s because, in an important way, the answer doesn’t matter. Like He teaches in the parable of the wheat and the weeds (Matthew 13:24-30), that will be taken care of in its own time, in God’s time.
The real issue is this: the presence of clouds in our lives activates our fear…and fear is THE BIGGEST distraction of all. We can justify almost anything when we are fearful. We rationalize it all and we do it because we’re scared…of not getting what we want or think we deserve, of getting left behind, of not being loved, of not making ‘a difference’. The list feels endless.
Fear is a liar. The list of our fears is not endless. Only God has no beginning and no end. Only God is endless. Our fear can be used by God just like any virtue. Whatever we turn over to God becomes God-like. Whatever we will not turn over turns on us.
So what would be different for us if we were less fearful? Less distracted? What would we, and others, see that is now hidden by distraction? If we learned to trust God more, what would there be more of and less of in our lives?
You and God and the people who cross your path will be blessed to know.
Questions for the day:
What would life be like if I was less fearful?
What are my principal distractions?
– Christopher Powell