Altered States

How I handle my fear says a lot more about whether or not I believe God to be trustworthy than it does what my fear is in the first place.

I believe it is fear that drives us to create our altered states of reality. Whether it is a chemically induced stupor or gated communities where we try to keep the world at bay we alter reality to allow ourselves the illusion of peace rather than owning or confessing our fears. If I can’t confront my fear then I’ll alter my perception of it. It is the reason we all feel so safe in Disney World (although I do have to say that Mickey Mouse scares me just a little bit).

This is why the recent cultural shifts are so frightening to those of us who bought into everything from the idea that a house is a sound investment, to the notion that a college degree guaranteed me a great job.

It is as if we are all being awakened from a very deep sleep. I wonder if I’m as angry with God when I think he’s asleep as I am when he keeps waking me up from mine!

We have interpreted not living in fear with eliminating opportunities to experience it. I will be less fearful if I home school my kids. I will be less fearful if I live in a more secluded area with as much security as I can afford. I will be less fearful if I drive a particular vehicle because it is less likely to leave me stranded on a dark road. I will be less fearful if I work myself up to a decision-making capacity at my job so that my future isn’t in the hands of idiots!

While there is nothing inherently wrong with any of these things, they can mask the true reasons we pursue them in the first place. Those reasons being fear motivated thinking.

I am the first to say that I want to provide the safest, most secure and affluent lifestyle that I can for myself, and my family. I will go to any lengths to adjust reality to fit what I believe to be “responsible” provision. What I am trying to learn to identify is when it is based in fear, what the fear really is, and what it says about me when I am finally willing to name it.

Most of all I’m asking myself why I would rather God just let me sleep!