When I was in Kindergarten, I remember one day standing on the sidewalk, and it had been raining. Someone ran up to me right in front of me kind of in my face, and it surprised me so much that I stumbled back, and fell off the sidewalk onto my butt right in a puddle. I got significantly wet enough that a change of clothes was required.
When I got home wearing different clothes and carrying the ones I had worn to school in a bag, my dad questioned me as to what happened. I told him, and then proceeded to get a dressing down for falling down.
Naturally I fell into that puddle on purpose.
Because I was berated for falling, I began to develop a fear of accidents. That fear was reinforced over and over again throughout my childhood because I had a lot of accidents. You know, like kids do. The constant fear, however, led to a compulsive need to control my environment in order to prevent accidents and extraordinary efforts to cover up any that happened in spite of all of my careful prevention.
A life lived in constant fear is not a life lived well.
A life lived trying to anticipate what ifs is a life devoid of peace.
Out of my distress I called on the LORD; the LORD answered me and set me free. The LORD is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me? (Psalm 118:5-6 ESV)
As a child, I lived in constant fear that was reinforced by an emotionally and mentally unsafe environment. I was always on guard because I never knew when an attack was coming nor what might precipitate one. Thus I became unwittingly and unwillingly addicted to excitement and therefore sought out ways to feed that need my body had for adrenaline.
Fear-based perpetual outrage.
Our news media makes huge profits off our need to feed our fear and anger. Social media provides us the means to instantly share and thereby stoke the anger and fears of our hundreds of friends and followers. We square off into our various tribes demonizing and dehumanizing whoever doesn’t agree with us. Because, after all, we are the enlightened ones and are therefore better than them. So we seek out more like us, and more information to back up our beliefs.
We are obsessed with being right instead of desiring to be at peace with and/or understand our neighbors.
We have convinced ourselves that we must be in absolute control of the world around us so that we can feel safe.
All the while the media profits from turning left and right against one another – brother against brother, sister against sister. So divided are we that we are losing cohesion and ultimately destroying the security we crave.
And while we are trying to control our surroundings to keep from falling in the mud, we fail to realize we are flailing around in the puddle that we fell in a long time ago.
If you liked this post or it resonated with you, would you please share it below?