The end of the world! Chaos in the streets! Total anarchy! Sharks falling from the sky! And all of this because I made a typo.
Sound extreme? Maybe a little exaggeration, but not much. There was a time in my life that I feared making a mistake so extremely that I thought the world would come to an end.
I was afraid that if I let God down, I would anger God, and it would be the end of the world. This phase of my life signaled a disproportionate opinion of my importance. As if making a typo, or putting too much salt in the spaghetti would have such a negative effect on the world as a whole.
There was a time when I feared God so extremely that I was unable to function effectively. I was afraid He would rain fire and brimstone on the world for nothing more than an honest mistake.
Sometimes we can get so caught up in our failings that we cannot function. Maybe we were never told about how God wants us to succeed. We were never told that God is our loving partner, not our jailer.
So fear incapacitates us. Fear of error can lead us away from God, not toward Him, as I have learned.
Instead, a wise pastor talked of the fear of God as being a respect for His Authority. How can we be of service to God, or each other, when we are knotted up that if we fail, or we err, we will suffer calamity and tribulation? This is not my God. Is it yours?
It is a walk with God walking next to us that saves us from this fear, perhaps a little at a time, until it is resolved and disintegrates. Jesus is our leader, guiding us away from the shadow of fear and finally into the light of Love and Peace.
I am not ashamed to say that I have made many typos, and that lasagna I made for dinner last night was a little too salty. Have faith, not fear.