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Pandemic:  2 Choices - Love or Fear

Pandemic: 2 Choices - Love or Fear

Posted by Kenny Vaughan on 19th Apr 2020

Reflecting back over my life, I know that “winning the Nationals was huge for me, but being able to be my best in the worst circumstances of my career and having the heart of a champion instead of a heart filled with fear was the most life-changing thing of all.

“It blew my mind that after years of fighting to overcome my fear, doing everything I could to defeat it, giving up led to my freedom from fear—not giving up fighting but giving up fighting fear. Getting in the right fight.

“For years, I skied for my championship while I was terrified. The moment I surrendered my dream of that gold medal and decided in my heart that all I had was for Christ, fear left, and my dream came true.

“Chewing on this really made me dig deep into what happened. My love for Christ and for [my soon-to-be wife,] Tammie. had allowed me to put aside my fear and selfishness and apply my talents for the good of others.

“Could it be that chasing what we desire most ensures we will never find it, but putting God and others first leads to what we desire most chasing us down? Was love something I didn’t understand at all?

… “Feeling love was not within my control. Being loved was not within my control, but loving was totally within my control. I was also realizing that love didn’t rule my life when I felt it or when someone else loved me. Love ruled my life when I loved.

“After asking what love was, I wondered, “What is love’s greatest enemy? What makes it hardest for me to love?” The answer was fear. Fear that my dreams would not come true, fear that I would lose, fear that I would get hurt [or sick], fear that I would look foolish, fear that I would be taken advantage of, fear that I wouldn’t be respected, [fear that I would lose someone I loved]or fear that my love for others would not be returned.

“As I thought about it, I began to realize that all the fears that kept me from loving others were rooted in a focus on myself. I was my own worst enemy in my fight to live a loving life.”

Fear and loneliness have become a major part of this pandemic. Asked to quarantine in our homes and give up the things we like to do is hard. We miss gathering with family and friends. The longer this all goes on, the more difficult it gets and the lonelier we feel. Fear is as threatening a pandemic as the pandemic itself. Fearing what we hear and see on the news, fearing we will get sick, fearing our loved ones will get sick, fearing we will lose someone we love to the coronavirus and not be able to be there for them as they die; fearing our economy is sunk, fearing our livelihoods are gone and we won’t be able to provide for ourselves or our families, fearing our lives will never be the same again … .

But, as I write in “The Right Fight,” and, as the Bible tells us, perfect love casts out fear. If we are busy loving God and others, fear gets lost. If we are focusing on what we can do for and how we can encourage others -- out of selfless love – we don’t have to try to fight fear. Love wins out in that fight every time.