|UNITY OF VANCOUVER
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There is Nothing to Fear
Reverend Bernadette Voorhees
November 7, 2021
All Rights Reserved
There Is Nothing To Fear Meditation
In our prayer time today, let’s focus on our indwelling power of love to overcome fear.
Fear is lack of love, lack of faith, lack of oneness with God. When we are close to God, we know there is nothing to fear for we are centered in the light of awareness that there is only one presence and one power.
Whenever you feel adversity, uncertainty, limitation, or fear of any kind, focus your attention on God, who is ever-present to protect and make clear your path to freedom and peace.
Don't give your valuable time and thought to negative conditions. Instead, keep your thoughts and feelings attuned to the light of God within. God is with you this very moment. There is no situation where God is not there to see you through. In Psalms 27:1 it says, "The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?" In any situation, God is there to bring you through. “There is nothing to fear, for God is near.” Let us keep this in mind as we go forth during this month of Thanksgiving feeling God's presence, wisdom, and strength. There is absolutely nothing to fear for the spirit of God is here. Amen.
THERE IS NOTHING TO FEAR – Nov. 7, 2021
Fear is a great motivator. It’s a signal of an inner lack of oneness with God. If you’re living from the outside in rather than from the inside out, when fear begins to motivate you, you could get caught up in appearances. When the focus of your attention isn’t on God you might say, "I could get hurt, lose or be disappointed." When this happens, you know that in that moment you are living in "I" consciousness and not in "I AM" consciousness. “I AM a child of God and do not inherit sickness, poverty, or lack of any kind. I Am a child of God there is nothing to fear.”
Of course, we have some natural and healthy fears like getting run over by a bus, so it is wise to stop and look before crossing the street. You wouldn’t put your hand on a hot stove because you'd get burned or slam your hand in a truck door. But if that happened, God in you would instantly begin to heal your hand.
Let's talk about 4 very common fears.
1. FEAR OF THE PAST. There are people who are afraid that they are going to have to pay a price in the present or future for a decision or action that they made in the past. For example: A man named Matthew decided to move from the West Coast to the East Coast and start his own carpentry business. He did this but after two months gave up and returned to the West Coast. For the next 8 years, he started almost every conversation with, "If I hadn't sold my business and home and wasted all my money going to the East coast, I would be able to retire now." When Matthew walked into a room everyone knew what he was going to talk about and tried to avoid him.
One of the most famous stories about fear of the past is the true story of a man named Souci Yopoi; a Japanese soldier who fled to the island of Guam in 1944 as the war neared its end. Yopoi was so terrified for his life that he hid in a jungle cave and came out only at night. He lived on frogs, rats, snails, shrimp, nuts, and mangoes. He carried a pair of trousers and a jacket made from a burlap-like cloth that he’d made from tree bark. Yopoi said that he knew that the war was over because he’d seen leaflets scattered about the jungle of Guam. But he was afraid he’d be executed if he came out of hiding. He stayed in that cave for 28 years. Two hunters finally found him and convinced him that he didn’t need to hide any longer. They gave him food and clothes, put him in a plane. He flew him home from war in 1972.
The Bible says, “God was our help in ages past. God is our help in every need; a very present help in times of trouble.” People who don’t know this are often afraid of the past and the future too!
2. FEAR OF THE FUTURE. When you fear the future, you get all caught up in what can happen to you. If you've learned your spiritual lessons in the past, which is to remember “God is a present help in times of trouble”, then you don't have this fear. You won't fear that God won't be there tomorrow, when you know God is with you today. God never strays from us. We stray from God.
A man avoided going to the Dentist until forced to go by an abscessed tooth. He was in pain and looked at the Dentist as a torturer and not a healer. The Dentist told the man that he’d be gentle and use Novocain to deaden the tooth. He said he wouldn’t pull the tooth until it didn't hurt at all. The man agreed and the Dentist gave him some Novocain. After 15 minutes the Dentist asked, "Do you still feel pain?" "Yes" said the man. So, the Dentist gave him more Novocain and went away for a few more minutes. He came back and asked, "Do you still feel pain?" "Yes”, the man mumbled. So, the Dentist gave him more Novocain and went away for a while. He came back and asked, "Do you still feel pain?" The man could barely talk but managed to mumble, "Yes it still really hurts." The Dentist said, "Let me look in here and see. I'm not going to pull it until there is no pain. I just want to check around in your mouth." The man said, "Okay." After a couple of minutes, the Dentist said, "Do you still feel pain?" The man again mumbled, "Yep." The Dentist said, "No problem. The tooth is gone." "Wow," the man said, "You are the best Dentist I've ever had!"
3. FEAR OF LIFE. If you are fearful of the past and fearful of the future, chances are that you are fearful of life. You can get addicted to eating or exercising in a certain way and to things that reportedly cause longevity or seem to turn back the clock like plastic surgery. There are people who are just trying to stay young and alive instead of actually living and celebrating all the seasons of life. An old fisherman who radiated health and energy told me "I don't try to live. I just enjoy one day at a time. God has used me in the past, is using me in the present and will use me in marvelous ways in the future. God has a place for me in its plan for good in all the seasons of my life.”
4. FEAR OF DYING. There are people who reach a certain age and stop living. If you are fearful of the past and the future and you're fearful about living, then perhaps what you are really fearful about is dying. There are people who worry about what will happen to their money, their stuff, and their body when they die. When I die, some other body is going to spend the money, and use the stuff. Someone once said, “Why worry about tomorrow, when tomorrow comes it will be today anyway. “This day is the day that the Lord has made rejoice and be glad.”
A man was lost in the desert and dying of thirst when he found a well. Right beside the well was a note left tied to a bottle of water. It read, "Dear friend, there is enough water in this well for all, but sometimes the leather washer gets dried up and you have to prime the pump. Please don't drink the water in this bottle. Pour the first half of it slowly into the well to loosen up the leather washer and then pour the rest in quickly and pump like crazy and you’ll get water! The well has never run dry. Have faith. When you're done, don't forget to put the note back, fill up the bottle, and put it back under the rock. Sincerely, Desert Pete."
Would you drink the water? Or would prime the pump and take a step-in faith, knowing it won't solve all your problems, but that it is a beginning? Do you have enough courage to risk it all and have faith? You may be one step, one thought, one prayer, one affirmation away from your demonstration. Garnering positive energy requires moral courage, heart and chuppah (nerve). Have you ever noticed the sweetness in a room where immense love is present? Perhaps you feel such positive energy in your grandmother’s kitchen, a classroom with children playing, or a room like this one where people meditate and pray.
A good life is about making positive choices and not victimhood. We all experience fear. No one escapes. The wise ones admit it and with eyes wide open confront and overcome their fear. One of Henry Ward Beecher's favorite stories was about a young man who applied for a job in a New England shoe factory. The young man went in and met the owner who was interviewing applicants. He noticed that the man was shaking and very fearful. He said to the young man, "The only position that we have available is the Vice-Presidency." The young man said, "The Vice-Presidency? What's the salary?" The man said, "I'll pay you $60,000 a year if you are able to take away my fears and my worries as Vice President of my company." The applicant scratched his head and said, "Well, where is the $60,000 coming from?" The owner said, "That, my friend, is your first worry."
The Buddha taught that there were 84,000 ways to tame and pacify negative feelings. I am only going to share five with you today.
1. Identify your fear so it can’t ambush you. For example: “I’m not smart enough or pretty enough. I’ll never find a soul mate so I might as well not try.” A woman shared with me that her biggest fear was that she would end up drooling and alone in a nursing home; or suddenly die at home and just lie there unmissed until her cleaning lady found her.”
Scary worst-case scenario fears like these need to be replaced with best faith scenarios. Identify it and say, “Thank you for sharing.” Then make a conscious shift of your energy to your heart center and reframe your fear from a compassionate perspective. Replace fear with faith, affirm: “I will be taken care of, not abandoned, in my time of need.” Remind yourself that you are not alone and that you are loved.
2. Say a prayer to lift your fear. Sometimes fear grips your spirit and just won’t let go. You identify the fear, and you know it’s irrational, but you still can’t shake it. Say a prayer and ask for help. You may believe in angels, or that your grandfather’s spirit is watching over you. Close your eyes. Take a break and ask for help from your heart. The non-material world holds support and power that your rational mind can never understand. Keep your prayer simple. “God take this fear from me.” Keep your heart and mind open and your body relaxed and let the inflow of positive, spiritual energy do its job.
3. Make a gratitude list. Concentrating on what you’re grateful for shifts fear. Gratitude is a form of positive energy. If you want it, you’ve got to seek it out. Gratitude doesn’t just happen. By accentuating blessings, not problems, you’re supplanting negative thoughts with positive vibes. Writing down what you are grateful for solidifies your sense of gratitude. If you’re riddled with fear, however, the last thing you feel like doing is counting your blessings. Nevertheless, take the ‘contrary spiritual action’ even if you resist, make a list anyway. One person said, “Until I broke down and wrote a gratitude list, all I could fixate on was the 10% that wasn’t working in my life, rather than the 90% that was. This is pretty common. Isn’t your attention drawn more to the train wreak than a smoothly running train? The same is true of your thoughts. Fears leap out at you; serenity’s quiet strength is often harder to discern.
Take at least 10 minutes to make your list; keep adding to it in your Solutions Journal. You may be grateful for your health, your home, a relative who truly listens, a trusty pair of boots, or your granny’s pumpkin pie. High on my list is Unity and friends. Making a gratitude list creates a loving circle that cocoons you in positive vibes and mirrors your own indwelling Christ power. An attitude of thanksgiving is a powerful way to dispel fear. By making a gratitude list and enlarging it every day, fear doesn’t have a chance to take over your life.
4. Visit an energetically uplifting place. When fear takes hold, brooding in isolation isn’t the answer. Don’t become fear’s captive audience. Get out of the house and go to a place that makes you feel calm, secure, and happy so that the positive vibes can rub off on you. Stay there until you soak them up. Drinking in the positive energy of places you cherish offsets fear. Visit places that feed your soul.
5. Avoid absorbing other people’s fears. When fears crop up, ask yourself: “Is this mine or someone else’s?” Sometimes, it could be both. If the fear is yours, confront it. If it is someone else’s detach from the fear by:
A. When POSSIBLE, distance yourself from the source. Move at least 20 ft away, out of others’ energy fields; you’ll feel relief. In a public place, don’t hesitate to change seats if you get unsettling vibes.
b. Center yourself for a few minutes by focusing on your breath; keep inhaling calm and exhaling fear; Visualize fear as black smoke leaving your body and calm and joy as white light entering. Practice with this technique will soon yield quick results.
c. Fear frequently lodges in your emotional energy center at the solar plexus. Place your palm there as you focus on sending that location loving energy to flush fear out. Keep pumping love from your heart into the area to purify the emotional pollution.
When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you're trudging seems all uphill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest, if you must, but don't you quit.
Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about,
When he might have won had he stuck it out;
Don't give up though the pace seems slow--
You may succeed with another blow.
Often the goal is nearer than,
It seems to a faint and faltering man,
Often the struggler has given up,
When he might have captured the victor's cup,
& he learned too late when the night slipped down,
How close he was to the golden crown.
Success is failure turned inside out--
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems so far,
So stick to the fight when you're hardest hit--
It's when things seem worst that you must not quit.
- Author unknown
What do you think?
© Unity of Vancouver, 2004 All Rights Reserved.