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Living in Fear


Alice C. Bateman

It seems the world is getting blacker, fear follows fear, disaster heaps upon disaster, human life grows cheaper by the day. Where will it end? How will it end? What is going to stop this deep-seated threat to this planet we live on and call home?

Us. We. You. Me. Each of us. One at a time. In our own minds. In our own thoughts. In our deeds. Our simple everyday existence. Do good. Think positive. Envision the light. Darkness cannot fully descend if we increase the light in the world, now can it? When could ever darkness fully overtake light? If there is one candle in the gloaming, there is light. If there are a hundred, or a thousand, or a million - there is not only light, there is hope, there is wonder, there is maybe even our long-sought peace.

Peace. Can you imagine? Surely war is easier to arrange than global peace, surely hate is a more formidable power and force than harmony. Why? When did we let it become this way? Why? For money and greed and the pursuit of power by individuals?

Maybe God needs to step in, maybe if we invite Him to step in, He wouldn't be contravening the pact of non-intervention He made with the adversary. Let's try that - I've already 'seen' Angels dancing along the mountain ridge I can see from up the hill a bit. Maybe all it would take is a serious invitation for Him to be our Champion in this horrific time.

We've always seemed to be on the verge of destruction, this world. Almost every century that turns the calendar expects some cataclysmic occurrence - but never before in our recorded history have we ever had the equipment and technology for mass destruction. But, the other side of that coin, we have also never had the equipment or technology to do mass good.

These machines, our computers, allow us to speak directly to each other, without the restrictions of borders or economic or colour boundaries, to share our thoughts and hopes and fears and dreams. We are finding out that the people of other countries are just like us, with hearts and hopes and fears and failures just like ours. We are finding out that we all want to stay alive, to improve our world and our lives, and the lives of our children. Most of all, we all want our children to grow up on the beautiful planet we were given, not in a wasteland we created for them - if they live to grow up at all, the way things are going.

What can we do? Is it too late? No, not until the last one who believes in and lives for peace has been stilled. No one can steal our thoughts, whoever the perceived enemy is can not stop us from saying 'I work for God, to do and be good. Killing is not good.'

The most powerful thing we can do is not succumb to fear, to not live in fear of what will come next. We have to live in each moment as it occurs, do our best with what we are given, envision a world that does not always have its inhabitants at each other's throats, a world that does not burn it's most precious resources but finds the alternatives that God gave us. And a world that does not murder it's own inhabitants.

Even as I say these things, I myself am so very sad over the explosion this morning of the Space Shuttle Columbia, it is difficult to even have a coherent thought, or sit upright, and especially to not cry. If we all live in despair and sadness and fear, there is no hope at all for us or our world. We must, against all odds, picture a better world, project good thoughts, and do the most good we can in every day, even when we're sad.

My thoughts and prayers are with the American and Isreali people, and especially with the families of the Astronauts who were killed this morning.


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