Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Have You Ever Been 'Good Scared'? ; Bringing a Spiritual Perspective to Daily Life

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Have You Ever Been 'Good Scared'? ; Bringing a Spiritual Perspective to Daily Life

Article excerpt

As I was growing up, I was terrified of street gangs, a rise in racism, street crime, and local terrorist bombings, not to mention global threats such as overpopulation, environmental crises, and mutually assured (nuclear) destruction.

I am not so scared anymore. In fact, years of spiritual study and experiences of prayer and healing have convinced me of God's practical goodness. They have proved to my satisfaction that not being scared, on the basis of divine Love's ever-presence and all- power, is logical and practical whatever the problem.

Experiencing the value of destroying fear at the micro level of my own life in turn suggests to me that similar victories might be of value at the macro level. Being macro-scared can surely be of no more aid to healing than being micro-scared.

So it came as a surprise to me recently to be alerted to a positive take on fear. In an episode of "Friends," Rachel accepts a comfortable job in New York instead of taking a challenging new position in Paris because Ross has maneuvered a higher salary for her back home. Besides having selfish reasons for wanting her to stay, Ross is responding to her telling him she is scared to go.

A little later, though, Rachel confides that, yes, she is scared to start a whole new life in Paris, but that it is good scared, not bad - like the time she left home for life in "the Big Apple" and like the time she was anticipating the birth of daughter Emma. This convinces Ross that he should support her in taking the "scary" step, not preserving the status quo.

As I watched this, I saw something new about my own experience. A growing sense of God's presence and power has reduced and removed many fears. However, it could be said it has also broadened the range of fears I have had to face - but in a positive way. It has brought me face to face with new reasons one might feel afraid. But these reasons have been ones I've been ready to face up to and face down.

I have found myself, for instance, taking on tasks I would have considered beyond my ability. Playing a key role in organizing international meetings is one example. …

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