I woke early this morning and decided to go for a walk. As I reached for my keys, I sensed something strange and suddenly realized I was not alone.
Then I saw him. An intruder had entered my home.
He shook his long pointed finger in my face. Surprisingly, I recognized him. How could I possibly forget that face?
We first met when as a child a bully threatened to beat me up after school. Later, he sat beside me in college while I took my exams, causing me unfounded anxiety. He visited me as an adult, right before I made a bold career move. Sometimes, he stops by and I don’t see him, but I see what he’s left behind: broken dreams, forsaken promises, hopelessness, and even despair.
He showed up again this morning in my home unannounced.
I looked him right in the eye and said, “Hello, Fear.”
He rolled his eyes and asked, “Just where do you think you are going?”
“For a walk.”
“You’re not going anywhere.”
“I’m telling you right now, if you walk out that door, you’ll never come back alive.”
“What do you mean?”
“You step outside, you die. It’s as simple as that.”
“I don’t believe you.”
“It doesn’t matter if you believe me. I said it and that settles it. It’s going to happen.”
“You can’t frighten me.”
“I’ve been paralyzing people for thousands of years. You think you can avoid me?”
I looked down at the floor and held my keys tightly. For a moment, I thought I should just wait until tomorrow to walk.
“You know,” he said, “I’ve kept you in my power since you were a child. I made you lie to keep from getting in trouble. I’ve caused you to run from family and friends and opportunities and experiences. You have no choice but to do what I say.”
I paused. He had manipulated me in the past and even now I was frozen.
He watched me suffer in silence.
“What did I tell you?” he said. “You’re my servant.”
“No,” I said faintly.
“Silly man, I have you under my control even now.”
“I’m not your slave,” I said in a stronger tone.
“You must serve me,” he said, “I will be like God to you.”
“No, you won’t,” I replied, suddenly defiant. “I already have a God and His grace is sufficient. He doesn’t give me a spirit of fear. He gives me a spirit of power, love, and a sound mind.”
Fear raised an eyebrow.
“You are weak” he said. “You will fail and come running back to me.”
“I may be weak,” I answered. “But He is strong and He loves me. The Bible tells me so. Get out of my house and stay away from me. I’m going for a walk. You can’t stay here and you’re not welcome to join me.”