I’ve mentioned in the past the group of friends we’re part of who are starting to shape a community project in the part of Exeter we’re moving into soon. We’ve decided this lent to create a series of reflections ourselves. I’m writing on each Friday (I think) and thought I might share my weekly reflection here. Hope you don’t mind…
Be Not Afraid…
For the last few weeks there’s been an awful lot on my mind. I’m training to teach at the moment, which is stressful enough…but adding on top of that looking after a young family and buying/selling a house…well…there have been plenty of moments when I’ve felt that everything is slipping out of my grip. I’m not great at this, as I generally like to be in control (don’t we all, if we’re honest).
A few days back I was lying awake in the middle of the night considering all that was going on, when the words ‘be not afraid’ drifted into my mind. I can’t say that this means that I was able to get to sleep straight away…but it certainly helped me stop panicking. I don’t know where it came from. It could be one of those God moments. It could be my brain telling me what I needed to do.
Then yesterday, as I was starting my lent journey through the gospels I came across the angel’s words to Joseph as he discovers that his fiancee is pregnant with someone else’s child. ‘Be not afraid…’. Wow.
When we give things up – even when we take things up – there can be much to be afraid of.
What will life be like without x?
Will I be able to keep my pledge to do y?
The thing is, not being afraid doesn’t necessarily mean that we know what’s happening. It doesn’t even mean that things will work out as we want them to. Instead, it strikes me that it’s an invitation to an adventure of trust. A step away from control.
So, early on in this journey together, the words I want to share with you are these – ‘be not afraid’.
They may mean something very different to each of us, but I think they will resonate for us all.
What are you worrying about at the moment? Something linked to your lenten journey? Something niggling away at the back of your mind?
Dwell on these words for a while sometime today:
“Be not afraid”.
What happens? What thoughts come to mind?
Journeys are about small steps. How about trying to get through today thinking these words every time that little tingle of fear emerges.
Step away from control. Join the adventurous journey. Who knows what might happen.
Grace and peace…