Have you settled into this newness yet? Yeah, me neither. It’s felt a little bit like riding a roller coaster ride I didn’t think I was going on until I found myself climbing that first hill for the big drop. And about the time I got to the bottom of that first big drop, and I thought the ride was just about over, I realized this roller coaster is a longer ride than I thought.
Now, I don’t particularly like roller coasters. How about you? It’s hard for me to find any joy in the ride. I have an excessive and unrealistic fear about all the things that could go wrong. Somewhere on the ride I am sure I am going to be the first person ever to have the car I’m in come to one of those corners and fly completely off the rails. This is an unrealistic fear. When I am able realize that the roller coaster ride is safe, and I loosen my (literal) death grip on the bar in front of me, I have the potential to feel the thrill and joy of the ride.
Sometimes our fears are unrealistic. Sometimes our fears are False Events Appearing Real (an acronym introduced to me in the book Unafraid by Adam Hamilton). My fear of rollercoaster rides is False Events Appearing Real. When I name them as such and take actions based on that truth, I can experience joy on the ride.
In the midst of this pandemic rollercoaster ride we are on, there are very real fears that need our attention and action. But there are also unrealistic fears (False Events Appearing Real) that have the potential to take all of the joy and thrill out of our lives. Right now it may be difficult to tell the difference between real and unrealistic fears. That’s part of what makes this journey exhausting and difficult.
Over the next few weeks in worship we will explore how to live in the very real fears of our life (like this pandemic), yet do so unafraid. We will explore some practical steps to quieting the unrealistic fears and keeping our eyes on the joy and thrill of life that God intends for us. Join me as we ride the roller coaster of this pandemic in the sure and certain hope that God is on this ride with us!
Pastor Becky Jo