Lawson writes . . . sharing thoughts and memories

July 19, 2011

Good Fear

Filed under: Uncategorized — lawsonjolly @ 5:00 am

Fear is  natural to everyone.  We might speak of someone and say “he has no fear!”  Yes, he does!  He may be overcoming that fear, or ignoring it, or  suppressing it so that others do not see it.  But fear is common to all.  I believe it is innate.

Yet fear is not something to be embarrassed about.  Fear can be a great protector.  Fear is really an ability to recognize danger.  Fear can serve us well.  For me there have been times that fear so gripped me that I avoided continuing an activity that could have brought disaster.

I remember well as a boy playing on Stone Mountain.  It was a playground in many ways for me, and I came to know the mountain extremely well.  I have explored most of the mountain, climbed down the back side, and I have even driven my 1936 Chevy up the mountain as I shared in a previous blog.

On one occasion, a friend and I were on the steep side of the mountain.  That was the reference to the front of the mountain that most people see — the side with the carving.  For many years an old fence was there to keep people from going further down toward the carving because the face of the mountain was so steep.

On that particular day, we moved down to the fence where there was a large opening.  We continued a few yards below the fence until we could see iron rods sticking up.  They had been planted in the granite to create steps for the workers to go down to the monument where they were working.  There had been a wire or some type of chain that the workers could hold in order to move down to a tool shed.

The shed remained visible and our boy curiosity challenged us to go to the shed.  All that remained were the iron poles that were planted some four or five feet apart.  We were confident that we could sit on the granite and edge our way down by moving toward each pole, one by one.

I recall that just a few feet beyond the fence I sat down on the granite as if to slide cautiously toward the first pole. I could not see the shed nor could I see the ground below. I stopped.  I was suddenly gripped with fear.  Yes, call it scared . . . but I know it was an overwhelming fear.  I responded to my friend to begin going back.  I made it emphatic that I was not going any further.   Obviously, this was a foolish thing to be doing.  We had known of others who had fallen off the mountain.  We were at a place that was probably well over 700 feet high.  There would be no injury if we fell . . . only sudden death.

Why did I retreat and not follow through on our plan?  Was it because of fear?  Without a doubt!  Now, didn’t fear serve me well?  Perhaps there are some fears we need to deal with such as having a fear of speaking before a group of people, but we must recognize that most fears protect us from danger —  or at least a possible danger.

Some people become paralyzed with fear.  I did that day on the mountain and determined not to go any further.  But it did not paralyze my ability to think and discern.  I simply froze for a moment, but realized the great danger and responded to that fear and began to act with reason and sensibility.

Fear has served me well many times.  I am glad God gave me the emotion of fear.

Many of us have fears . . . but I read recently that the most common fear is the fear of death.  There is no danger in death unless we have no clue to what follows!

We are not to fear death.  We are to prepare for it.  We are to put our hope and trust in Christ and receive a peace about the experience of death.  I assure you that such a relationship will transcend any fear of death.

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you . I do not give you as the world gives.  Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”  (John 14:27)

Lawson

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