Seasons . . . .

Life is a collection of seasons.  Fear blends its way into each season. A child may fear losing the security of parents, home or the challenges that await on every school day.  A teenager is terrified of embarrassment or a lack of social acceptance.  A pre-adult wonders whether educational or career choices will be fruitful.

Young adults fear that relationships may not last or that they don’t have the skills necessary to raise good children.  Middle aged adults face financial stresses, or the midlife fear of “Is this all there is?”   The mature years bring longevity fears that hinge on health reports.

Fear is inevitable.  The challenge is to counteract that fear with Hope.  The healthy person, both physically and spiritually has ways to do that.  Pity the person who is perpetually trapped in daily fear with no way out.  If you find yourself in perpetual fear, please seek professional help.  Perpetual fear is not normal. 

Seasonal fear can be balanced with solid relationships and timely refocusing of attention, but a guaranteed fear breaker is faith in the promises of God.  Faith provides a way.  Jesus told us that He was The Way to the Father and everlasting peace.

I experienced all the seasonal fears mentioned above.  Whether it was dysfunctional family unrest, school bullies, doubts about my career choice or how to handle a family of five which included a major handicap, my mental state was a seasonal roller coaster.  Yet there was always strength in family and close friends.  There was always a strong belief in myself that I was following a straight and honorable path.  There was always God.  Even when He seemed silent, I knew He was there and in charge.

I felt God’s presence in the power of nature.  I felt God’s presence every day when teaching science because no matter what the topic, no human could create this unique universe from nothing.

I’m in that season of fear that should be tainted with aging medical issues.  Thankfully so far, I can wake up every day and thank God for another gift of life.  Instead of fearing for myself currently I fear for our country and my younger family members whom I’ll eventually leave behind.

How can the world be so divided and so full of hate?  How could democracy have come down to vote for whatever makes one side win rather than what is morally just?  How have we become so instantly connected but so emotionally distant, hurtful and aloof?

As a retiring teacher I wondered how the changing world would taint the young.  What would happen if everyone gave up?  To counterbalance that fear I became involved with younger teachers and realized the passion, commitment and dedication was alive and well.

Using the same logic, I must believe in God’s plan and His hand in everything.  The dysfunction in our world is not of God’s making but I have faith that He will use this period to teach us a lesson.  Hopefully the lesson will be filled with better communication, more compassion and an emphasis on love rather than winning.

Dear Jesus….my fears are real…. your Hope is greater.  I trust you.

Jim Randazzo

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