Our flight from Toronto to Calgary was at 27,000 feet and climbing as I watched the lady beside me go through her Rosary beads for the third time. Her prayer book was on her lap and her eyes were closed. Besides being in prayer it was obvious that she was terrified of flying!
I cautiously offered an observation: “You’re afraid of flying I see.” Her eyes opened and she replied: “If you think I’m afraid, my husband is on the bus.”
Fear is demonstrated in our lives in a multitude of ways. It can be in the choice to take the bus, that’s for sure. Sometimes it is in a person’s silence only revealed through the eyes, dark with an absence of hope. At times it is found in the aggressive behaviour of a teen who feels no reason to love, who feels no care for the future. Fear can overwhelm those diagnosed with a serious illness. Occasionally I’ve seen it show up in the tears of a spouse who has been told they are no longer loved. I’ve even seen it in the denial of one who has observed abuse by a relative.
Recently I attended a men’s camp and listened to a former drug dealer talk of how he had feared the loss of his wife who had come in contact with the Gospel. His response as a drug dealer, was to resolve to kill the pastor! What he discovered is the love that casts out fear, and his heart and life were changed! In place of fear, he found courage.
Author and comedian Phil Calawayfirst introduced me to the concept that “courage is just fear that has said its prayers”. A wonderful thought, don’t you think?
So what’s in the center of your fears? Is it the loss of health? Perhaps the financial world’s instability? Has it become the knowledge of how little control we really have in this fallen world? Remember that courage is just fear that has said its prayers.
As a child my mother taught me this prayer: “Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep, if I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take.” Not a bad prayer for any age, and one I’ve kept close to my heart through all these years and all my fears.
So what’s holding your fears back from saying their prayers? Courage is closer at hand than you might think.