Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Calm (emotionally) (09/13/07)
TITLE: BE NOT AFRAID
By Paul Potenza
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I think that God wants us to be calm. I hate to use the subject matter in the first paragraph of this article, but I can't help noticing the number of times that the message comes from heaven "Be Not Afraid".
I like that. I hate being uneasy, scared and distraught. I don't like scary things. My bride and I have an unspoken covenant in which we refuse to watch scary things on television. It's not that we can't take them. I was a Marine for 17 years and she is a Hospice nurse so we have both seen some pretty ugly things, but our mutual feeling is "What's the point?" My son thinks that we are both absolutely out of our minds and that we haven't been in touch with what's "cool" since the Kennedy Administration but I think that we're onto something. To be perfectly honest with you, sometimes we think that he is out of his mind too!
We choose to divest our lives of unpleasant things like Rosemary's Baby and Jason and Friday the Thirteenth and Platoon for things like church picnics and Andy Griffith and The Dick Van Dyke show and soft muted talks.
I don't get what the big deal is with being scared anyway. I like to laugh and joke. I like to let my spirit soar. I think that doing such allows you to feel compassion when conditions warrant. Take, as an example, our Lord. Matthew 17 records the transfiguration. In this account Jesus meets with Elijah and Moses. God is also present. The apostles are visibly shaken. After it's all over Jesus tells them to "be not afraid". This is just a couple of days before He is going to die a merciless death. What a calm hero He is! When they come down the mountain they meet a crowd. Jesus has to be tired, but when He meets the crowd He is filled with compassion for them.
I know that I am writing to someone out there who is facing crisis. I know that these words will fall like sledgehammers on a crystal vase. But thank God they are not my words. They are the words of your God, spoken by Him to you.
BE NOT AFRAID.
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