Perhaps as a sign of age, or more distinctly because I am a parent, I find myself governed too often by fear. From the simple: what if I spent too much money on this thing and it won't yield its value? or What if this meal I'm bringing a friend turns out gross and they think less of me? To the more serious ones that keep me up lately: What if Jeff died in a motorcycle wreck (as did the husband of a high school acquaintance this week)? What if Hadley was abducted like those kids I've read about in the news?
And my mind paces back and forth between to-do lists and fears and irrational things on which to dwell while lying in bed at midnight. And suddenly it's 1am and I can find only some peace in silly iPhone games or reading other people's blog posts.
That was last night for me, and now this morning, earth seems new a pleasantly more hopeful in the new light.
I read from Thomas Merton's A Book of Hours this morning and found these Thursday passages helpful:
To say that I am made in the image of God is to say that love is the reason for my existence, for God is love. Love is my true identity. Selflessness is my true self. Love is my true character. Love is my name.
If, therefore, I do anything or think anything or say anything or know anything that is not purely for the love of God, it cannot give me peace, or rest, or fulfillment, or joy. To find love I must enter into the sanctuary where it is hidden, which is the mystery of God.
O great God, Father of all things, Whose infinite light is darkness to me, Whose immensity is to me as the void, You have called me forth out of yourself because You love me in Yourself, and I am a transient expression of Your inexhaustible and eternal reality. I could not know You, I would be lost in this darkness, I would fall away from You into this void, if You did not hold me to Yourself in the Heart of Your only begotten Son.
Perfect Love drives out fear.