The kids are out of school again because maybe, possibly, we are not even sure, there was the threat of a winter storm. We did have some very nice, big snowflakes that fell which gave us hope that our responses to the threat (we cancelled church stuff on Wednesday evening) would be justified. Well, what we are left with across this part of Atlanta is another gray, wet, dreary winter day. Unless you live in Gwinnett County, which ALWAYS has school. Sorry, needed to vent from my HS days when we never got days off.
There is no need to make light of last year’s incident here in Atlanta where kids got stuck on school buses, people spent the night in their cars, etc. It was downright scary and a result of poor planning and coordination in the metro area. This year, everyone is being extra cautious cancelling everything when the weather forecast seems a bit iffy. Local news plays the weather forecast up like it’s the end of the world coming, mostly because I am sure it is a ratings bonanza for them and it is the weather person’s version of Easter and Christmas Eve all rolled into one.
It’s gotten me thinking about how fear plays into our lives. Parker Palmer once wrote that “fear is the air we breathe.” Fear of last year’s event has caused us to over-correct this year. In a way, that’s how most entities work- something goes wrong, so out of fear they swing the pendulum so far the other way, the situation is no better. Fear does nasty things to people and communities.
I am almost certain that Jesus has never understand our need to center our lives in fear. There is that great promise in scripture that “perfect love casts out all fear.” There is a scene early in Jesus’ ministry where his friends are being tossed around in a boat in the middle of the storm. After much commotion, the storm calms and Jesus asks them “why are you so afraid?” He doesn’t get our need to give in to fear, when we have been promised that love is enough.
So maybe we all spend this snow day (or rain day) taking a few moments to think about whether we are going to choose fear or trust in God’s love as the guiding principle of our lives and communities. Love’s always worth a shot! Why are you so afraid?