While on vacation, we went into Whole Foods one day. My husband and I had not been to one in a long time. I was shocked by the prices... 6 bakery hamburger buns for $6. There were ten kinds of salt and maybe one of them was iodized. It was interesting. There was a full barista coffee bar in the center of the store.
As we were standing waiting for our coffee next door at Dunkin Donuts, my husband made a comment to me that took me by surprise. He said to me that he had realized while shopping at Whole Foods that the store and its shoppers were fueled by fear--fear of what their food would have in it if it wasn't pure--without iodine, preservatives, nonorganic... food. I'm not saying it's a bad thing to eat food with less preservatives, with whole grains, less salt, without msg... they are all good things. But, I know that fear can be consuming. It can be masked by good intentions. But, if it's at the root of why we're doing something--then that's not necessarily good.
I read an eye opening idea in Christian Kids Explore Creation that pointed out that campaigns for recycling, reducing, and reusing are all fueled by the belief--the fear--that if we don't do all of these things then we will run out of resources and there won't be enough for me or for you. The author of that book next quickly pointed out that God is in control and we don't have to be afraid of the world running out of resources, because we can trust God and trust that what He wants to be in the world will be there. It is wise to recycle, reduce, and reuse because these practices are important to being good stewards of the earth and caring for it--as we are exhorted to do in Genesis. But, doing these things out of fear shows a lack of trust in God.
I ran into a friend yesterday who I hadn't seen in over five year. It was good to see her, but as I caught up with her, I realized that she is tackling a new part of life that I haven't gone through yet because her children are older than mine. She is in a time of letting go of her children and trusting them to God--and again not letting fear rule her heart and checking the motives of her actions. She shared with me that her husband reminded her that she needs to act out of trust and wisdom, but not out of fear.
God is in control.
Fear is dangerous. It can be consuming. Fear can fuel control issues in some people. But, how do we fight fear?
After I left my friend, I began thinking of the Sunday School lesson I taught last week and the key verse:
Philippians 4:5-6 NIV