If you watch the news these days, you might be peeking through your fingers hoping that today’s boogie man will stay clear of your community. It seems like every hour EBOLA, ISIS, Kidnappings, Police Shootings, War, Bombings, Climate Change…it’s all coming to get us. It seems like any well healed human would just go hide under the bed and wait for the metaphorical tragedy smoke to clear.
Is that really what we’re called to be about as we live life in a free abundant life?
As I look around and try to find bedrock to stand on as I hear all the fear swirling about, I read my morning devotional and see God’s warning to us. “For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.” (2 Timothy 1:7)
Another version says, “For God did not give us a spirit of FEAR.”
So why do we give into fear so willingly?
We have GOT to stop the 24 hour news mantra pumping into our living rooms. Ebola is certainly something we should pay attention to, but the outright fear gripping people in Dallas Texas today is silly. Kids aren’t going to school, families are staying home from work, and the health community is running around like crazy trying to figure out what to do. Take a step back for a minute.
I talked with a medical director in Denver Colorado and asked him, “Should this be something we should be really frightened of?” And in a cautious way, he explained what EBOLA really is. The virus is serious, and takes special treatment, but is very curable. The scenes we see in Africa, according to this physician, are due to a lack of resources to handle the current viral crisis. Poor nutrition, and a lack of general healthy living is causing the virus to spread and have the mortality rate rise.
EBOLA isn’t the disease we saw in Contagion, the movie.
It isn’t like Dustin Hoffman’s OUTBREAK movie of the mid 90’s.
Nobody’s organs are liquefying.
But if you watch the news 24 hours a day, you’d think the whole world is on the precipice of total DEATH.
If you are feeling anxious about a virus outbreak, and your fearful that you are going to contract EBOLA, take the necessary steps to educate yourself, and then take precaution. But there’s no need to simply re-constitute your whole life. That type of fear is unhealthy, unproductive, and causes more stress than is necessary.
Remember the H191 virus? The same thing was happening, and the culture of fear was taking over people’s lives.
We saw H191 come to our facility in Colorado, and found it to be a mild form of the flu virus. With a little education and necessary precaution, we saw students who were diagnosed with the virus healed.
ISIS was the story of the last month, and several folks I talk to were scared that this was the group that would bring the world to a halt. No doubt, ISIS is a group of bad people doing horrible things, but there’s not showing up to crucify children in America.
Sure we need to be vigilant to stop evil where evil is, but two weeks ago I had a conversation with a man who said, “I saw those ISIS people in the grocery store the other day. We need to make sure they are not allowed to blow up our town.”
If you take a second to investigate who ISIS is and where they are operating, you’ll find that this group is much like the evil groups that have plagued the world for centuries. The religious connotations have to be divorced from the geo-political problem, and careful research will help bring sensible minds to the table.
Sometimes we’re fearful because we don’t understand the problem. We reduce our understanding of the problem to what we hear on the sound bytes of the talking heads whose job it is to draw you in and watch more. Don’t give over to the game. You don’t have to be afraid.
Sometimes fear puts us in positions of decision-making that forces us to choose the worst possible venue of solution. We see evil popping its head up and then we resort to bombing and war. If EBOLA continues to grip the country with fear, you’re going to start hearing solutions to stop the virus that no one would ever choose in their right minds. (see OUTBREAK the movie) How long will it take for us to quarantine whole communities, and maybe even fly bombs in to stop the virus for the greater good.
There’s another way.
Cool, Calm, Calculated individuals make better decisions than people who act out of emotion and fear. Fear is what makes us operate in a manner not constant with who we are as human.
We can solve these problems.
We can rise to the occasion.
We can be a tribe of people who aren’t gripped by fear, but are level-headed and find real ideas that lead to solutions.
All in all, I just wanted to write and encourage those of you who are being tackled with anxiety and remember Who still sits on the throne of heaven and earth. If you put your trust in Him, this unrealistic fear will fade.
Like I sang in third grade Sunday School, “He’s got the WHOLE world..In His Hands.” And that’s a fact!