My getaway bag was packed.
After 9/11, I got caught up in the hype about being prepared in case another terrorist act occurred. Living near the capital of the free world–a most likely spot for terrorists to attack, again–I took the dire warnings to heart.
So I got the recommended duffle bag ready:
- Underwear and sleepwear
- Plastic plates, cups, and cutlery
- A small transistor radio and flashlight
- Rope and duct tape
- Towel and washcloth
- Cat bowl and food
- And mommy jeans… and I ain’t no mommy! 🙂
You get the picture.
I bumped into the bag a while ago in the coat closet. It was still at the ready for a grab-and-run in case a fresh group of terrorists decided to strike. I dumped out its contents.
- I most definitely cannot fit in the mommy jeans.
- The toiletries are garbage-can ready.
- The toilet paper and paper towel seem to stare back at me, insisting that they still can be useful.
- The transistor will come in handy if/when there’s a storm. Same for the first-aid kit.
I had to fess up to the underlying factor in this scenario: fear.
Post 9/11, I lived in a state of hypervigilance, side-eyeing people, abandoned cars, bulky backpacks, the strange and the not-so-strange. They all came under my intense surveillance.
It’s kinda crazy because, really, what could I do if I did run into a terrorist?
I was in severe bondage to fear.
The trauma and terror instigated by the DC sniper, one year after 9/11, upped the fear ante. Going to the gas station became an act of faith. No one knew where or when the sniper would strike next.
All the while, my getaway bag stayed put in the coat closet. If ever there were a false security blanket, that black duffle was it, much like Linus’s blanket in the Charlie Brown cartoons.
Can I let go of the getaway bag and grab hold of some peace of mind?
If I truly trust God, I know I can. But it calls for a costly exchange: faith in place of fear.
F E A R
False Evidence Appearing Real: Believing that the worst is yet to come and–even more deceptive–that I can really “prepare” for it fully. I mean, what if terrorists strike while I’m at work in DC? I have no getaway bag there!
Here are my “fear options”:
Forget Everything And Run (with the duffle bag!)
Face Everything And Rise (In God’s strength).
“God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7
It’s time to let go of the bag and latch on to God.
I’m not here for the fear!
Do you have the equivalent of a “getaway bag”? What’s your security blanket in fear-filled situations? Isn’t it time for you to swap out fear for faith?