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“I’m not afraid of flying,” my friend said as I gave him a lift to the airport, “im just fearful of crashing.” He did look genuinely nervous about the prospect of being hurdled through the sky at 500 miles per hour in a tin tube loaded with highly explosive aviation fuel.

And he’s not alone. Many people like him are afraid of flying, but my friend was more likely to die while he was getting ready for the airport.

Some people won’t get on a plane even though there’s only a 1 in an 11 million chance of something happening on that flight, which works out to be the same odds as falling and hitting your head while standing on one leg getting the other leg into your trousers. And people feel perfectly safe while getting dressed in the morning.

How often do you see someone dressed in his or her underwear in the queue for passport control? Rarely..lol

While on holiday my friend wanted to go scuba diving, I reluctantly agreed to go with him, even though I don’t like getting into the sea. So when it turned out that we couldn’t go out that day I was so relieved.

There is only a small chance of seeing a shark never mind being attack by one. Those are the cold hard facts, but we’re rarely led by the cold hard facts but by our emotional response to them.

Illustration of wrong way directions sign

Fear drives us in the wrong direction; it leads us to places where we can become intolerant, paranoid and self-absorbed.

For example, let say that someone hears that there is a high number of conmen tricking people out of money on their doorstep. The next time the doorbell rings fear can take a grip.

The stranger is viewed as a threat, and the door remains closed. If fear is allowed to continue to rule then soon enough neighbours and casual acquaintances are treated with a certain amount of coldness and observation.

Fear is corrosive, self-destructive and ultimately no way to live our lives. The Bible says that perfect love drives out fear, and religion shouldn’t be a source of fear and anxiety, but unfortunately, it sometimes is.

Instead, religion should foster acceptance and tolerance within people. In other words, it should be led by love, not driven by fear.

We all should be inspired by love to look favourably towards the future and not always over our shoulder at the past, and maybe then our fear of crashing would be replaced by a love of flying.

Enjoy your weekend.
Rev J Martin

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