FEAR, CAUTION, PARALYSIS
September 2021 Newsletter
The last year has been “fearful times.” It has caused me to think about the question in Ezekiel 33:10, “How shall we then live?” We have been mandated by the government and the medical community certain ways to live: what to wear; where to go; where to not go; what medicine to take; what not to take; what we can say and what we cannot say…
One thing I don’t want to be in this fearful time: Fearful.
The COVID pandemic has filled us with fear. There is reason for this fear. The pandemic is real. I have lost six friends and several aquaintances because of COVID. They may have had underlying health issues, but they would not have died if they had not contracted COVID. It’s serious.
But I have lost almost as many friends during this time because of car accidents, cancer, heart attacks and who knows what other reasons. This may sound calloused, but, death happens. Everyday. I grieve. I cry. It makes me sad. But fearful?! I refuse to live in fear. I have friends who have hardly left their homes since March 2020! Fear has ruled their lives for a year and a half! They are paralyzed.
When I built silos in 1975, many friends cautioned me: be careful, people fall from silos. (A friend fell and was killed that summer.) It’s dangerous. You are being foolish. You are tempting fate. So many people told me how dangerous it was that I decided to look for something “safer.” While the silo crew was working at a feed mill in Baltic, I noticed that a feed truck was sitting in the same place for several days. I went in the office and asked if they needed a driver. “Yes, we do! The driver of that truck swung the auger out on a farm last Tuesday and he hit an electric wire and was killed.”
Dude! I walked out of that office thinking that I’d just as soon die falling off of a silo as to be electrocuted operating a feed truck! (I even heard of a man who died from an infection that he got from a paper cut! Is any job “safe?”)
Our missionary staff in Costa Rica thought I was tempting death because I had a motorcycle. “You’re going to get killed!” “Costa Ricans drive like maniacs” (Fact check: partly true) “You have no regard for your life!” (Fact check: false). I finally told the staff that if I would have had the level of caution that they are telling me I should have, I never would have come to Costa Rica! I was told Costa Rica was dangerous (Fact check: probably not true). “People kill each other down there. Don’t you watch the news?!” “There are diseases there! Snakes! Sickness!” “We’ll never see you again!”
I heard the story of a very fearful, cautious man in Miami who was afraid to take a walk because of the dangerous, heavy traffic. He went to the tourist bureau and asked what was the safest time to walk in Miami? The answer? Sunday morning. Why? Because it’s not a work day; all the Catholics are in church; all the protestants are in bed and all the Jews are down at the beach. So, the man took a stroll during the safest hour of the week: Sunday morning. He was run over and killed by a Seventh Day Adventist! 🙂
Folks, living is hazardous to your health. Be cautious. Be diligent. Everyday something bad could happen. But fearful? We don’t have to live in fear. Silo builders have safety procedures. Feed trucks can be utilized safely. Cars have seat belts. Germs and viruses are in the very air I am breathing as I type this letter. There is danger all around us 24/7. These are perilous times. Sickness, accidents, wars, turmoil, family issues, church stuff… be concerned. But fearful?! Not me.
“Fear not,” occurs 365 times in scripture. That’s one for every day of the year.
“Be very careful, then, how you live- not as unwise, but as wise…” Eph. 5:15 BUT! – “Fear not.” -Jesus