Moving beyond fear in a pandemic
It is very easy as you read or listen to the news to become full of fear in the face of this pandemic. I have talked with many people who have been in the grips of fear in recent days. They have experienced waves of fear over health-related issues, fears for their loved ones, fears over economic conditions, and fears about the future.
Well, let me start out by asking you a question: Do you believe in synchronicity? This is when two or more events happen together, and there does not appear to be any rational cause-and-effect relationship between the two. Nevertheless, the relationships seem very strong and meaningful.
For example, many years ago my old home church (Unity of Fairfax) was experiencing some difficult times between various factions within the congregation. As these “battles” were going on within the church, the roof of the church began to leak — and a flood of water inundated the sanctuary. This was enough to bring all sides together and come up with a rational win-win solution.
The great Swiss psychiatrist, Dr. Carl Jung, wrote a great deal about synchronicity, and he pointed to several things that happened during heated discussions with his old mentor– and now antagonist– Dr. Sigmund Freud. Freud dismissed synchronicity, but as he did this there was a loud explosion within the house. An old antique literally exploded. “That is what I mean,” Dr. Jung said to his former teacher.
Let me point to another more recent example of synchronicity. Unity World Headquarters recently published a very good booklet entitled 30 Days of Fearless Living. I am certain that this booklet was planned well before the full effects of the pandemic hit the United States. Nevertheless, what a blessing it is to have this booklet just when so many pandemic-related fears are surfacing for so many people.
And here is another bit of good news: This booklet is free. Yes, I said FREE! All you have to do is click this link to get a copy from Unity Village. What could be better!
Let me give you but one example of the gems contained in this wonderful little booklet. It was written by Rev. Jim Rosemergy, who has been a great leader in the Unity movement for many years. (I will always remember the wonderful conversation I had with Rev. Jim when I was new to Unity back in the 1980s– but that is for another column. Suffice it to say that Rev. Jim gave much warm attention to me and my questions way back when.)
Rev. Jim writes: “I don’t know a single human being who has not experienced fear. However, I do know people who have not allowed fear to dominate their lives.”
He points out that “wherever there is fear, there is also the possibility of courage. To be brave is not to be without fear, but to be able to act in spite of fear. In truth, the way beyond fear is through it, and on this journey we discover something wonderful about ourselves. Unknowingly, fear is the first call for the courageous spirit of God that is our true selves.”
Rev. Jim was a fighter pilot, and he flew during a time of war. He did not just talk the talk, but he walked the walk. He noted that “when we willingly enter into our fears, they lose their power, and the power that God is rises up to say: ‘Fear not, I am with you. We have work to do together.'”
I am taking Rev. Jim’s words to heart as we face our fears during this time of the pandemic. I am also remembering the apostle Paul’s comments: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13) This is much better– and stronger–news than what we often see on TV or read in the newspapers.