As I sit in MediaLit Conference this week I’m becoming acutely aware of the many fears that impact all of our responses to new ideas, new people, new aspect of people, the list goes on. Some are implicit whilst others are explicit. For all the new information, tools and concepts that are being introduced the moments of real revelation have been, for me, the times of acknowledgement of fear.
I can’t speak for the other delegates present but I’m happy to say, “I’m afraid.”
Christ proclaims, “Do not be afraid!” and I want to not fear but I do, at times. It’s good to acknowledge my restricted view of life and the fear that surrounds my thoughts, actions and words. So there are two questions; “What am I afraid of?” and “What am I afraid for?” I am afraid of facing upto my finiteness. I am afraid of being found out as a fraud, a liar, a selection of contradictory images that don’t hold together. I am afraid that I may be actually be the fool that I desire to be. I am afraid that my prayers and desires are actually being answered and I may actually have to face the pain of transformation.
What am I afraid for? Here’s the difficult question. Fear is a defence mechanism to protect us from harm. At times this may be irrational or even unfounded but the consume us. Should we rush into all that is fearful? Many radicals would say “yes.” I’m inclined, as a wannabe radical to agree with them but I have caution in saying so (another fear!)
I think that I am afraid in order that I acknowledge God and my doubts of Him. The fear of God is my greatest fear. I am, above all, afraid that God may in fact be real and He is in control and I’m not. God may actually have His way which so often contradicts mine. I am afraid in order that He reveals Himself. So why does He repeatedly proclaim “Do not be afraid.”?
God commands this after His revelation. one could suggest that thing that we should not be afraid of is God Himself. This, therefore, suggests that it is possible to fear God and that it is after God is revealed and acknowledged that God settles those fears.
What am I afraid for? To have God revealed as that which is to be feared above all things in order that I can acknowledge and relate with Him and then He will settle my fears.