Monday, June 10, 2019

Freed From a Variety of Fears

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(Vessel, in New York City)
I still fear too often.

Last week I was teaching at Faith Bible Seminary in Flushing, New York City. I sent the students out to pray, using Psalm 23 as their meditative focus.

I went to a park two blocks away from where class was held. I sat on an old wooden bench that overlooked a school playground. Kids were having recess. I was impressed at how they played and ran and interacted. They were having so much fun! A few of the kids were hanging around a young male teacher. You could see the teacher's influence on the kids. All this, I noted, was happening without being connected to social media.

I have memorized Psalm 23. I closed my eyes and said it in my mind, for the ten thousandth time. I came to this:

Even though I walk through 
the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
for You are with me.

I will fear no evil. I'm not there yet.

I began an extended meditation on the subject of fear. In my journal I wrote these interpretations of the Psalm.

I will fear no evil.

Which entails:

I will fear no actual evil. 

I will fear no possible evil.

I will be free from catastrophizing.

I will fear no unlikely evil.

I will fear no threat of evil.

I will fear no imaginary evil.

I will fear no horrendous evil.

I will not fear not having something to fear.

The following conditional statement applies:

When the Lord is fully my shepherd, 
I break ties with a universe of multifaceted fears.