Trying Not To Be Afraid

IMG_4667I have great hope for the future of my students, yet there is a significant amount of fear. Fear can have a powerful impact on any one person or group. When I think about the divisiveness of political candidates, the threat of terrorism, unstable economics, and division among a variety of people groups, I become more afraid. We cannot just snap our fingers to make any type of fear disappear.
However, there are significant reasons to have hope for the future. We have the capability to communicate more effectively through technology. We have the capability to connect and network as never before. Our world is shrinking into a global economy, with each people group more dependent upon the success of each other. We hope that we can eventually realize that our future depends upon our concern for each other, not purely for selfish motives.
Dr. E. Stanely Jones stated, “I am inwardly fashioned for faith, not for fear. Fear is not my native land; faith is. I am so made that worry and anxiety are sand in the machinery of life; faith is the oil. I live better by faith and confidence than by fear, doubt and anxiety. In anxiety and worry, my being is gasping for breath–these are not my native air. But in faith and confidence, I breathe freely–these are my native air.”
A John Hopkins University doctor says, “We do not know why it is that worriers die sooner than the non-worriers, but that is a fact.” That makes it even more personal! I need to develop more hope and faith in my life if I want to extend my chances for living longer and healthier.
I’ve been reflecting more and more on how I communicate hope to my students. I think that a lot of students today are filled with fear for the future, considering all of the back talk in the news and the divisiveness among people. Many students make the conclusion ‘why try’ if there is so much frustration in the world.
But fear does not have the last word. Any one student can make a difference for the future. That practice of hope begins each morning as my students walk into the building. I want to inspire them to be successful. I want to challenge them to make effective decisions for their future. I want to encourage them to make a difference in others’ lives, even if it is one person. The discipline of hope is essential.

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