Welcome to Fear Week.
I was debating for awhile whether I had enough content to fill a whole week with fear, and I suppose by Friday, we'll know for sure. In the meantime, why?
Because this is Halloween, the one time a year where it's appropriate to be afraid. In fact, this week, we will go around trying to scare each other...or trying to be scared. It's the seasons of haunted houses, ghost stories, and things that go bump in the night (which could be three days worth of posts right there if I played my cards right). But plainly, tis the season for fear.
I have another motive. Do you know the Bible has more to say about fear than just about any other subject? Maybe any other subject? Perhaps it would be more accurate to say the Bible speaks more frequently about fear than any other subject because truthfully, it has one simple piece of advice: do not fear. Which is really easy to say if you're God and not quite as easy to say if you're not. Most of us fall into the second category. In God, there is no fear... blah blah blah. Perfect love casts out fear... blah blah blah. Do not be afraid, for I... blah blah blah. Nice words, but not when you're terrified. Not when you live here, in the place where thieves do break in and steal, where rust does destroy, where nothing is today the way that it was yesterday and who knows what will happen tomorrow? So that's another reason to make this Fear Week.
I have another motive. I'm at a time of a lot of changes in my life, and inherent in change is fear, so this is something I've been wrestling with for the past several weeks as things continue to morph and mold and settle into a new pattern. I say that hesitantly because it feels like a growing pattern, unstable in itself, but it's something new. And here's what I'm realizing through all of that: fear is always the thing. I've had all these dreams for many years, maybe my whole life, about the things that needed to change and the way those things needed to change that were going to be the things that changed my everything. I had all these fantasies about how it was going to happen, what it would be like when this or that thing finally came to pass. And off and on, but particularly more in the past couple of months, I have realized that when those things actually happen, when change actually comes, hope and ideation are replaced by fear. Suddenly, this thing I've dreamed of for so long is here, and there's a fear about that. I'm not going to put any other labels on it because it could be any of many types of fear, and I haven't quite figured that out yet, but it's just this general unsettling that comes in that place where I really expected peace. So I'm finding that just beneath all of these things we dream for ourselves, fear (at least for me, and I think I'm not alone in this) is lurking. Which is leading me to some really cool thoughts and experiences and so, of course, there is no better week than Fear Week to share some of those things with you.
I have another motive.... Just kidding. Those are the three. (Although I could insert a good joke here about how this week, we're all pulling skeletons out of closet anyway, so why not add the bones of fear? Oh wait...I just did insert that joke.)
A few other thoughts as we get into some of this, though. First, I keep calling this Fear Week, but it's not going to be so much about fear. It's going to be about responding to fear and seizing it for its opportunities. Perhaps it would have been more apt to call this Fearless Week, but who tunes in for that with goblins running around? It's Fear Week; deal with it.
And second, a confession. Every time I have written those two words together this post - Fear Week - I have had to use my backspace and correct myself. Every time, it has come out "Fear Weak," and I want to assert right now that I don't believe fear is a weakness. It's an obstacle, sure. It's a burden, of course. But it's not a weakness. That's hard to hear if you're afraid all the time, and I've been there. But fear is a catalyst. It's a starting point for something big. It's an invitation to dive into the darkest parts of your soul and put a new light there. Fear so often paralyzes us, but when we don't let it stop us, these fearful times become our opportunities for greatest growth and change.
I hope you will join me for Fear Week. I've got some really cool things I want to share with you.