Shark teeth. Once Sumter taught me how to find them, shark teeth, in a way, took over my life. We found over 70 teeth on our beach vacation last week, and once you get that many, you start to sort them. Little. Big. Serrated. Pointed. That sorting led to research into types of sharks. And, of course, all good internet research winds through YouTube at some point. That is how I ended up watching videos of sharks swimming in the same waters my children were playing in, videos of tourists being bitten by sharks in shallow waters, videos of surfers dragged under by sharks, and before I could close my computer, I found myself tracking sharks with Ocearch and becoming scared of the waters that I loved before we started finding shark teeth.
Fear. The enemy of an otherwise great vacation. What if I convinced myself that, when I eyed the water with suspicion in my YouTube hangover, I was just being vigilant and safety-minded? Any better? Is there a difference between fear and vigilance?
Our national headlines are plastered with ebola. I mean, E B O L A. Here is a collection of editorial cartoons related to ebola. Many stories are written to create fear (or vigilance?). And then stories are written on that fear. Or, are those stories about vigilance? Either way, it is a big story with costumes and settings like those of an apocalyptic movie.
What are our roles in times of fear? How do we live faithful lives in times of fear? Does fear draw us closer to God or does it create a rupture? Is fear part of faith or an erosion of faith?
What about you personally? If not ebola or sharks, what DO you fear? Are they things you can see or things you think are lurking? How do you manage fear? How do fear and faith relate in your life?
See you Sunday.