Thursday, March 7, 2013

"Oh. My."

Those were my husbands words as he read yet another crazy story from the newspaper. This time, a grandmother shot her "troubled" grandson with a Glock 9mm semiautomatic handgun. Wha??? You can't trust anybody anymore, I thought to myself. Nothing but bad news. I couldn't stop my thoughts from going where they go every time I hear news like this: fear. Overwhelming, all-consuming fear. The type of fear that causes me to narrow my eyes with doubt at every person that crosses my path, wondering, Where are you going, where have you been, and what are your intentions? The type of fear that makes me want to lock all my doors, pull down all the shades, and never let my children leave my sight. Like, ever. As one of my FaceBook friends put it (paraphrased, of course): "When my kids were little and couldn't read, I drew a big X on the things that were bad so they wouldn't mess with them. I wish I had drawn one on the door to the outside world." (Thanks, Debbie:)) Yep. My feelings exactly.
My cynicism of the human race isn't new. The older I've gotten, the more my cynical nature shows itself. I want to believe in good, but I can't. Or, rather, I won't. It is a choice that I can make, but I normally choose to let fear overtake my decision-making, and the outcome is that I don't trust the world at large. Maybe that's smart, maybe that's good, you know, to keep myself at a distance. But what keeps me at a distance from the bad also keeps me at a distance from the good. I know there is good, I've experienced it. But in my cynical state, I tend to think that it's the minority that's good and not the majority.

It's hard to live a full, optimistic and hopeful life and be so cynical at the same time. In the midst of my cynical attitude, I forget that there is a life to be lived, and lived out fully. It's good to be smart, it's good to be careful...but it's also good to be full of life. When I look out my window, I can see a small picture of a beautiful world out there, but from behind theses panes of glass, that's all I see. I have to get out there and be in it to feel the air on my face, experience the sunshine, play in the snow, or taste raindrops on my tongue.

But...I hear myself saying (I guess you could call me Chicken Little), it's scary out there. Anything could happen.

It's true.

But how am I gonna know if I never take any chances?

You shall not be afraid of the terror by night,
or of the arrow that flies by day,
not of the pestilence that walks in darkness,
not of the destruction that lays waste at noonday
{psalm 91:5-6}

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