I had a boss in my early 20s who had a certain quality you don't see too often. When he spoke, people listened. I mean, they obeyed. A retired master chief, he had this sort of tone in his voice, a quality that is hard to describe. But when he spoke to a group of kids even the wise guys in the room followed directions. I distinctly remember this one time, he walked in on a rowdy assembly and issued the order to "sit" and everybody in the room... just sat. I found myself embarrassed that I too, had taken a seat at his tone. Looking around, I saw that every other adult had followed suit. Embarrassed smiles were exchanged between colleagues and shoulders were shrugged. Later there was some teasing in the faculty lounge. It’s funny what even grown people will do without thinking...: Sit. Just because we heard the words- and they weren't even directed at us!
I don't have the same way with kids. Nobody in my class listens because I have a magic tone. I lead them to obedience the long way around. Through encouragement and cajoling and crazy enthusiasm. It's been suggested that I run my class like a pirate crew. I'm in charge not because I am possess some great authority (like the British Military captains ran their ships) but because I'm the only guy on board who knows how to drive the boat. So they let me have my say, trusting I'll get us where we are going and once there they will receive their share of reward. (passing the course or whatever test the state has said they have to take next, etc.)
Now I said that because I need to illustrate a difference. I have always read those "Fear not" verses in the Bible more like a suggestion. Like an encouragement. Like the way I would tell a group of kids not to get scared before a big exam. When in reality, I think maybe they were written more like my old boss said things. Like a command. Like something you just do. Do without thinking or reasoning or cajoling. Like if you read those two words in an authoritative tone... FEAR NOT! There need be no why given. The one who issues the command is big enough to take care of whatever it is you're stressing about.
I was driving in the car the other day just freaking out about money and the move etc. Certain, ehem, "life events" have drained the savings I squirreled away like a squirrel stashes a nut. And like a sleep crazed squirrel after a long winters nap, looking for the acorn that is GONE....I have been letting myself spaz and twitch and run around in circles. We still have our minimum summer money put back, but we won't be living as easy as I hoped.
So anyway, I decided to have a little prayer and meditation. Normally when I go to my meditation.....and let me clarify here. Prayer is when you talk to God. Meditation is what people do when they are looking for Him to talk back. I sometimes sit quietly and listen, but usually I will meditate on a verse or two relevant to my situation and I normally I hear some soft voice in my soul remind me, "Fear Not. I got this." and I take the accompanying peace and go. But this time the voice was not soft or encouraging. It was all "FEAR NOT". Raaaaar! and you know what? I was all "OK!". without even thinking. I nodded my head in agreement. Just like that time an entire room of adults sat because somebody said "sit", I stopped thinking about what was worrying me.
Sometimes letting go of fear isn't a matter for reason. After all, most of what we are afraid of isn't reasonable to begin with. So why would reason alleviate it? So, next time your reminding yourself not to be afraid. Go ahead and say it with gusto. And to those who share my faith, hear God say it with authority in His voice- not as a suggestion- but as an order....when you read one of my favorite verses in the faith.
"So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." Isaiah 41:10
Just two pennies of thought from a sleep crazed squirrel.