The only thing we have to fear. . .

    The Springfield Business Journal printed an article some time ago entitled “Cast fear, Greed Aside in Making Decisions.”  The key question related to which is the stronger emotion–fear or greed?
    Fear is a powerful emotion. It can move us to action, or it can paralyze us to inaction and despair. Of course, one of the most famous uses of this term came from FDR: “The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself.”
    The phrase that appears more than any other in our Bible is “Don’t be afraid.” I think there’s a reason for that.
    Wednesday night, I watched the first episode of “Designated Survivor” when the United States capitol building blew up during the President’s state of the union speech. The President, Cabinet, and Congress were all killed during the attack. The designated survivor was the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, played by Kiefer Sutherland. He was the last person in the presidential line of succession left alive and had to assume the presidency during a time of war. I’d never thought of that scenario being played out. It makes a terrific TV show, but would be a horrific actuality.
    Of course, there are enough real things going on to scare us. Recently, the police shootings and rioting in Charlotte have generated a lot of media coverage. Tensions have been at a boiling point.
    The explosions in Chelsea, NY and the loss of life have brought to mind once again the presence of terrorism. We heard last Wednesday night of family members in that area who were close to where the bombs were detonated. Fortunately, they were okay.
    The Bible cautions us to make the very most of our time: “Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring” (Proverbs 27.1 NIV).
    I’m finishing up the sermon series on “Finishing the Race” this Sunday morning. We are a community of faith and can draw strength from the Lord and each other to face life’s challenges. It’s a privilege to go through life together.
    One of the metaphors the Apostle Paul used in describing his life is “I fought the good fight.” We talk more about loving others than “fighting”, yet that is what we must do. This refers to being active and struggling as needed to deal with the challenges that come our way.
    An example of this is Faith Voices of SW Missouri and UHBC as we “fight” against the payday and title loan industry. I’m grateful the City Council approved a resolution to be sent to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau asking for stricter restrictions on this industry. I’m proud of our church and our partnership with the Educational Community Credit Union. We are making a difference.
    I hope you’re using your prayer guides. It’s important for us to be “on the same page” in our prayers and desires for our church.
    Let’s not be afraid of what’s ahead, but embrace life as a gift. Remember the adage: “It’s not the years in your life, but the life in your years” that counts.
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