Fear Is Good. Very Good.

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Fear is like the brake pedal in a car. It helps you get to your destination alive, and also not ruin other people's lives as you journey. It helps as you make the right turns; it helps you to manoeuvre around obstacles and stay in charge.

It is also the cornerstone of true wisdom. The fear of the LORD is beginning of wisdom. 

Ever wondered why it's a lot easier to catch a fast and almost flying cock than getting hold of a big clumsy goat? It's because goats have one of the best braking system among the domestic animals. They seldom run in a straight line. They are a master at stopping suddenly and changing direction. They use their brake very well. 

Fear activates our braking system. But it's ultimately our choice whether we use it well or not. It kicks in when we are faced with a choice that doesn't align with our religious beliefs. It kicks in when we are faced with a very big decision that can make or mar lives. It kicks in when we are faced with an immediate big danger. It kicks in when things are falling apart and we need a better strategy. Fear is like every other human emotion (love, hunger, thirst ...) it's the brain signalling that there is an unusual situation that needs attention. And just as the right way to eliminate hunger is not by ignoring it, so also you shouldn't ignore your fears thinking that will fix them. The fear is simply a messenger bringing your attention to something special.

You will agree that USA is way more fearful that Nigeria. They have fears that range from terrorist attacks to alien attacks. They are the only ones who make movies about an asteroid colliding with the earth and wiping us all out. Yet they have a much better country than ours. They have learned to use their fear well. They let the fear of the Russians getting to the moon before them drive them to place the first man on the moon. They let the fear of terrorist attacks help them build the most sophisticated defense system in the world. They let the fear of China becoming a bigger world power drive them to develop extreme technologies that are so advanced that China will always be technologically behind them. They face their fears and, like hunger, use it as the motivation to get the nourishment they need. They don't ignore their fears or call it fancy names like "False Evidence Appearing Real", They let it make them shiver; they let it push them to immediate actions and they allocate a lot of resources to using their fears.

A near perfect illustration of the goodness of fear is when a family is about to have their first child. The pregnant and soon-to-deliver wife, the husband, their brothers, their sisters and even their parents all bound strongly together because of fear. They hold hands at the hospital and truly care for one another. They fast and pray and pray more. They let fear drive them to leave other engagements or work to be with others at the hospital. The let fear bring out the caring side of them. They don't just get along with their usual life with the help of a motivational tape on how fear is bad and should be ignored. They (especially the husband) let fear give them some shivers, push them to pray more and care more, and to allocate a lot of resources (time, money and energy) to the unusual situation.

Understand your fear rather than ignoring. Look for what it is alerting you about rather than naming it "False Evidence Appearing Real". Use the more alert state it puts you into to tackle the underlying problem. Learn to use your fears to your advantage because fear is good. Very good.


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