It was the Summer between my 7th and 8th-grade years and our family was on vacation. Our vacations were often camping ones, and this was the one to beat them all.
We had driven all the way through Nebraska (woof.) and made our way to the Black Hills and Badlands of South Dakota. I loved it. The open prairie, with their own particular breed of “dog.” We saw bison. I came up head to head with a ram while riding my bike. It was joyous.
It was during this vacation, though, I realized my greatest fear. I was then, and still am, afraid of heights. It happened as my older brother was walking along the edge of the gorge (is that the right thing to call it?). Me being a younger brother, I NEEDED to be there with him to show he wasn’t “better” than I.
So I rushed over to him, over to the edge of the ground. I looked down to the vast expanse of rock several hundred feet down…and I panicked. I don’t remember what happened next, but I’ve been told I had a panic attack. Oops.
I’ve been afraid of heights and falling ever since.
Here’s the thing, I love to do things which fly in the face of this fear. It brings me immense joy to overcome this fear and climb mountains or ride roller coasters.
I think that’s what Dave was talking about this past Sunday. We live our lives in the balance of fear and joy, always seeking to allow our joy in living to master our fear of death.
Fear does not have to run our life because we know Christ has been let loose on the world. That’s the wonderful gift of Easter. Jesus has been raised and is out in the world always with us and also beckoning us into new manifestations of ourselves.
The life of a Christian is one of courage because we know Christ is with us and we no longer have to be afraid.
Christ has been raised. He is risen indeed.