Friday, August 26, 2011
People Get Ready
I have been thinking a lot about fear these last few days, not because I am afraid, but because a great many others seem to be. It has got me to wondering about two things: 1) Why am I not afraid?, and 2) Why do so many seem to be afraid?
This last week and the next few days have brought and will bring my part of the country a few surprises. On Tuesday, we here in the Northeast experienced what may have been our first earthquake. Here in NJ it amounted to nothing more than a 30 second tremor. A little freaky I have to admit, but nothing to go into a panic over, but you'd be surprised (or maybe not) at the overboard reactions of some.
This weekend, hurricane Irene is planning to visit. Again here in NJ we will probably get lots of wind and rain, but yet there are those around me who seem to feel the end is near. I don't know, maybe it is, but that's my point exactly~even if it is, I am not afraid and I know why. I am ready, not perfectly, but enough so that I know in Whom and where my faith lies.
So it occurred to me that if this is why I am not afraid, it is probably the same reason why so many are afraid. These fearful souls are not ready, they have put their faith and trust either in themselves, or are of the belief that all of life is random and we are just victims of circumstance.
Today's Gospel about the ten virgins is a perfect example of how being ready can alleviate our irrational fears. Five virgins were ready and prepared in advance with the needed oil to meet the Bridegroom, and five were not~they became fearful when they were locked out of the wedding feast.
I did a search to see how many times the phrase "Do not fear" appears in Sacred Scripture; it turns out that it appears 365 times! That is pretty much a daily reminder, one for each day of the year, that if we put our faith and trust in God, who is in control of everything, we have no reason to fear.
So earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, while they can be devastating, and by no means am I trying to minimize the suffering many endure from natural disasters, there is hope in the face of all of it. That hope is in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ who told us not to fear many of those 365 times because He promised to be with us always.
*Musical Note: I don't usually post secular music, but this soulful version of People Get Ready by Rod Stewart with Jeff Beck on guitar is a good one and fits well with the theme of my post, so don't be afraid to enjoy this one.
Psalm 45: Canticle of Love to the King
My heart overflows with a good theme;
I address my verses to the King;
My tongue is the pen of a ready writer.
You are fairer than the sons of men;
Grace is poured upon Your lips;
Therefore God has blessed You forever.
Gird Your sword on Your thigh, O Mighty One,
In Your splendor and Your majesty!
And in Your majesty ride on victoriously,
For the cause of truth and meekness and righteousness;
Let Your right hand teach You awesome things.
Your arrows are sharp;
The peoples fall under You;
Your arrows are in the heart of the King’s enemies.
Your throne, O God, is forever and ever;
A scepter of uprightness is the scepter of Your kingdom.
You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness;
Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You
With the oil of joy above Your fellows.
All Your garments are fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia;
Out of ivory palaces stringed instruments have made You glad.
Kings’ daughters are among Your noble ladies;
At Your right hand stands the queen in gold from Ophir.