Thursday, October 20, 2005

Fear and Wisdom

I recently discovered a new truth that can be found in the relationship between fear and wisdom. Ok so I didn’t discover it per say but it was revealed to me. Wanna hear it? Here it goes. (Words in italics should be sung like the first lines in the EnVogue song Free Your Mind – if you don’t know it just move on.)

So I am in the midst of a hurricane crisis. Being from a different part of the country this is unfamiliar ground for our family. Many threats have come and gone over the last few months but Hurricane Wilma seems to be the one that everyone is reacting to here in southwest Florida.

At first when I heard about the hurricane, it just went in one ear and out the other. Then gradually Nathan started rambling on about all of the new stats he had heard about it from news reports or people at the office. Things like, “they say this one is for the record books” and “this is the strongest hurricane all year including Katrina, the one that devastated New Orleans.” But even still I just nodded my head and pretended to be interested. Then Nathan started coming home from work with the latest church event cancellations and the names of all the people we knew that had headed out of town in preparation of escaping the coming hurricane. The next step took place when our landlord called and said that he was going to come out and put up our storm shutters. This was coming from the guy who told us not to freak when hurricane threats were on the news and just to wait them out every time. Obviously he was taking some precautionary steps himself in the wake of this one. Then, and this is when I finally tuned in, I ventured out into the world. Ok so I just went to the grocery store but the trip changed my outlook entirely. First I couldn’t get past the intersection b/c there are 2 gas stations on the corner and they were jam packed with cars filling up before prices soared and so families could get out of town toward safety as soon as possible. It took about 25 minutes to go 1 block. Once I got to the grocery store I experienced the most eerie sight: rows and rows of empty shelves all throughout the store. No water, no bread, nothing that had bread like or water like substance to it was anywhere to be seen. People were stocking up on toilet paper, canned goods, anything and everything they could get their hands on before going into complete hiding. Meanwhile I grabbed a box of trash bags and some baby formula and headed for the check out counter. It felt so strange to see everyone in a rush while I was going on with my day as normal. What resulted was a desire to learn more. I came home and turned on the weather channel. Then I went online and looked at the latest reports available there. I looked anywhere I could to learn as much as I could about what we could be facing. After I learned how seriously I needed to be taking this storm, I called some family in Orlando and set up a potential escape plan to stay with them in the event we are evacuated.

It took me going through all of those stages to get prepared and take the necessary steps to protect my family from this looming threat. The moral of the story being: my fear is what brought on a search for more information. My acquired knowledge of what was about to take place caused me to become wise and take precautionary actions.

Today it hit me that when the Bible talks about fear being the beginning of wisdom it doesn’t mean fear “God smiting us with his Almighty smiter.” Instead we should fear a life without knowing the love of Christ. And once that comes into play the wisdom of committing your life to Him, heart and mind, body and soul, becomes the result.

Maybe you are at the “in one ear and out the other stage” and all of this is crap to you, that’s ok. I just pray that you will eventually get to the place where you can see what a loss it would be to live without Love and be drawn to the Word where you can find answers, truth and direction. Ultimately leading you toward the steps that need to be taken in effort not to become a victim of life’s threat-death as an ending.

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