Two choices. Love & Fear. We all live there. We make those choices daily in a multitude of situations, but we are usually not conscious that is what we are doing. While we would like to profess that most choices we make are out of love, I choose to differ.
One of the most profound examples of this comes from personal experience and the time my husband and I decided to send our son to Mexico to a therapeutic boarding school. Easily, we would say we did it because we loved him and wanted the best for him (which is, of course, true.) However, at the deep root of this decision was our terror (big fear) that he would not live to see another year if we didn’t do something drastic. So, truthfully the choice was made from fear disguised as love.
How often do we see that in the world today? This post began when a friend let me know she would not be allowed to teach in a Catholic church unless a priest “supervised” her program. I was reminded of another fabulous woman I knew in times past who spent 40 plus years on the mission field in Africa, but was not allowed to teach a protestant adult Sunday school class without a male partner. Personally, I was declined leadership in a women’s Bible study because I was divorced and might encourage others to leave their husbands (indirectly, of course ☹.) It would be tempting at this point to rattle on with a multitude of other examples such as war, prejudice, etc. but I shall not. I hope you can start to see in these examples where “well-meaning” people have disguised their fear in terms of what is best for others (so-called love.)
I am feeling close to being in over my head here, but I would like to pose the following: What would it look like if each day, each moment and each interaction we asked the question: “Am I acting out of love or fear? What is my motivation?”
This doesn’t mean that fear needs to go away (for there is no chance of that anyway). Fear can be very helpful and healthy and often keeps us safe. For example, I believe it is good to have a healthy fear of drinking and driving or having unprotected sex. (I am, after all, the mother of two teenagers.) Fear, however, can also keep us trapped inside a box—immobilized and stuck in old patterns of living. Stuck in fear!
We cannot change the past or the future which are both great feeders of fear. The only thing we can affect is this moment. The past is gone. The future will never arrive. All we have is right now. We have two choices in how we will live it. Love. Fear.
So, what might happen if each day, each moment and each interaction you asked yourself the question: “Am I acting out of love or fear?” How would your world change? I hope you will ponder that.