I read something today that is true…

“Anxiety and fear are cousins, but not twins. Fear sees a threat. Anxiety imagines one. Fear screams: ‘Get out!’ Anxiety ponders: ‘What if?’ Fear results in fight or flight. Anxiety creates doom and gloom.” – Max Lucado

In the midst of COVID and everything else going on, it’s easy to confuse fear and anxiety. Fear deals with real threats, anxiety with imagined ones – it causes us to fight battles that don’t exist [at least not yet]. And it forces us to fight them over. And over. And over… The more we allow ourselves to go down those roads, the more real those battles become to us, until we start taking real world actions based on our imagined scenarios – withdrawing, attacking, treating people as enemies [perhaps even people that we love]. 

If you are stuck at home, it’s easy to dwell on things and get depressed or discouraged. I know, because I’m struggling with it. When I find myself going down that path, I’m trying to shift gears and focus on how I can make a positive difference, even when I’m cooped up. Maybe I can make a quick call or send a quick e-mail that will help someone, maybe I can focus effort towards dealing with some of the “little things” that I’ve been putting off for a long time. Maybe – instead of obsessing over fearful thoughts – I can spend time imagining how awesome it will be when we can [hopefully] worship this year side-by-side and face to face. And maybe – just maybe – I’ll end up making a focus shift from anxiety to hope… 

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” – Philippians 4:8

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