There Is No Fear In Bike Riding
Today is the first day of school in our community, and my wife and I just saw our littlest boy off to his first day of 3rd grade.
We took the obligatory "first day of school" photo and then he mounted his brand new bike, pulled on his sparkling new bike helmet and rode off down the street with a friend.
It wasn't that long ago when he was frightened to ride to school on his own. Now he pedals away with the confidence born of repetition, and familiarity.
He's learned that his neighborhood is a safe place for him to ride. Neighbors wave at him when he sails past them. The little girl across the street calls him by name.
It's hard to be afraid of what you know.
I read something this morning that got me thinking about how fear affects us. The great Christian mystic Anthony de Mello once said this:
And there's not a single evil in the world that you cannot trace to fear. Not one. Ignorance and fear, ignorance caused by fear, that's where all the evil comes from, that's where your violence comes from.We are seeing this play out in our current culture right now. There is so much anger, so much ignorance, and all of it... all of it is grounded in fear, which is grounded in unknowing.
When you fear the unknown it's all too easy to decide that it needs a face. And then it is even easier to fall into bigotry, xenophobia, racism, misogyny, homophobia... the list goes on and on. And all of it is grounded in fear.
There are two words that get spoken by the Divine over and over again in both the Old and New Testaments of the Bible. In fact, Jesus spoke them on numerous occasions.
Those two words? Fear Not.
Those words are spoken by the Divine to us as a way to draw us into intimacy. What God has known since the beginning of all things is that when we allow ourselves to be drawn close so we can know God, we let go of our fear.
Intimacy with God enables us to see the world as familiar, beautiful and filled with God. God all around us, in us and through us. This way of seeing changes everything.
May you live your life today and every day in intimacy with God and free from fear. May you come to know this world as God knows it. May you fear not.
And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.