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  • Steve Hoffman

Garbage Bags, Fear & Jesus

Driving to work today on a four-lane highway, I had to swerve to the side to avoid a car in the adjacent lane that had suddenly hit the brakes and left its lane. What prompted this sudden action that impacted a number of cars? It was an empty garbage bag dancing in the breeze on the roadway.


This is rather mundane story is very symbolic of our fears. Was this driver afraid of slamming into an empty plastic bag? Certainly not. What harm could come from that? The driver was afraid of the unknown; what if there was something solid in the bag? Too often in our lives, the only obstacle is fear itself.


This brings to mind a couple of images. First, I remember my mom dragging me to the first day of school. I was so afraid and clinging to her leg. Eventually, I became acclimated and went in to have a great time and make lifelong friends. If the decision to attend was left up to me, I would have chosen the comfort and safety of home.


As we grow older, we have similar fears. One that I find most peculiar is that we seem to be afraid of our own power. Becoming clear channels for God/Universe to work through, we have access to unlimited capabilities. In this fertile ground of consciousness, we also have the ability to plant thoughts that can launch our lives upward. Much like the first-time student, we don't trust what is behind the veil. It takes trust to keep following our next steps. It's too easy to stay at home in our limited shell. God didn't create us to stay in that shell. He created us to express ourselves, and in doing so, God experiences himself through us. It is time that we own our power and frolic in this magical kingdom called Earth.


Here is a simple meditation that helps me to bravely step forward into the unknown: I picture myself walking toward a bright field of light. On my left is my inner child, or a young version of myself. I hold his hand to overcome his fear. I know there is a grand playground full of kids and fun just ahead. But I also have my own fears of the uncertain future, so I picture Jesus holding my hand and walking with us on the right. Eventually, my inner child sees the fun ahead, lets go of my hand, and runs off to play. As I grow comfortable stepping forward into the bright light of uncertainty, I eventually drop Jesus' hand and step into the new and better world.


Jesus is always there for us, but he also wants us to discover our own power. He has shown us the way. It is safe. Be brave. Step forward and live this life to the best of your abilities.










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