Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Don't be Afraid

I'm going to circle around to the Monday Musing today and explore that phrase I learned on Friday night:

"The entire world is a narrow bridge, but the main thing is not to fear" - Rabbi Nachman of Bretzslav.

Fear is after all the one thing that really paralyzes us when we let it.

These words by the Rabbi are similar to those of Jesus when he said:

Do not let your hearts be distressed. - John 14:1 NET Bible

The exhortations to "not be afraid" or "do not be afraid" are rampant throughout the Bible--and it is good advice. Hard to do, but good advice.

When I get paralyzed by fear, I am not only hopeless, but I am helpless. I become unable to act or react properly to the situation.

Yet, if I can hang onto my wits just a bit--I can react. And in the face of overwhelming odds, there is only one way not to be paralyzed by fear--and that is to trust in the Lord, who is bigger than any obstacle.

So the Rabbi had it right--the world is a narrow bridge which seems too narrow to cross if we actually look at the bridge. I've noticed that when I am trying to walk on a line or even a curb that if I look down at it, I lose balance. I find I need to keep my eyes up and looking forward and then I can easily follow the line or the curb without losing my balance.

Now imagine a narrow path over the world which is far below--looking down, I would get vertigo and be afraid of falling--but if I keep my eye on the horizon--I don't notice how far up above the world the bridge is and I am not afraid.

The Royal Gorge in Colorado is a great demonstration of this principle. The bridge is 955 feet above the Arkansas River--and if you don't think that is a long way down--you have never been there. But don't look down--and you won't be afraid.

That's the thing about fear--don't look at the object of the hear, but look above or around it.

So on the narrow bridge of life--do not be afraid--don't look down; look up.

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