Fear, a crappy habit

I’m back home. Washington state was great – I got to hang out with my parents and see cousins and aunts and uncles I haven’t seen in a long time.

Now it’s back to real life. The Economist magazine was here waiting for me. The cover is a picture of monks in Burma (Myanmar) praying. The cover reads, “Burma’s saffron revolution.” I know very little about Burma, which probably makes me normal in America. I know a tiny bit about Aung San Suu Kyi because of her Nobel Prize. The Economist quotes her in this issue saying that “Fear is a habit.” (The Economist, p. 13, September 29, 2007)

What a deeply true and deeply sad statement that is. In a place like Burma, I am sure that fears of violence are a daily thing for many people. That kind of fear is in a category of its own. I know that I am lucky that I have never experienced that kind of fear. But all kinds of fear are related.

The most repeated command injunction in the Bible (Old and New Testament) is “do not be afraid.” The reason that God says this over and over and over to us is that often, fear is where our hearts default. Like Suu Kyi says, it is a habit. I am full of fears, and sometimes those fears are the basis for how I live my life. I think that a huge part of the Christian walk is learning to trust instead of to fear. When I can step out of fear, I count it as a victory, every time. Because of my faith in the God of the Bible, I believe that it is His grace and power that enables me to step through fear, every time I manage to do so.

No matter what we might think about Bhuddist monks theologically, they are clearly stepping through fear to try and change their country to a place that is ruled less by fear than it is now. One thing that I always try to remember is that the “bad guys,” the military junta in this case, are being run by their fears.

I’m going to try and remember to pray for the people of Burma over the next months. I feel moved to ask God to continue to eradicate my fears, to eradicate the fears and violence of those who hold on to power violently, and embolden those who are fighting non-violently for freedom and peace.

Goodness, people. I just wrote a big ol’ diatribe about Burma, fear and God. Obviously, I’m still not Madeline Albright.


7 Responses to Fear, a crappy habit

  1. Free Burma! says:

    Free Burma!
    International Bloggers’ Day for Burma on the 4th of October

    International bloggers are preparing an action to support the peaceful revolution in Burma. We want to set a sign for freedom and show our sympathy for these people who are fighting their cruel regime without weapons. These Bloggers are planning to refrain from posting to their blogs on October 4 and just put up one Banner then, underlined with the words „Free Burma!“.


  2. Matthew says:

    Don’t be Madeline Albright… be Megan… and be good at it!

    Blessings to you.


  3. Megan says:

    Thanks Matty!! I appreciate the encouragement.

  4. reallifeinsc says:

    Glad you made it back safely. Fear is a crappy habit…and one that I’m constantly battling. And yet God keeps reminding me that I can trust Him. I’m so glad He is a patient God!

  5. shauna says:

    The pictures of those monks stick in my heart, and now…days going by with no real new information coming…it makes me weep and fear the worst. As I’ve been following this situation and also watching the film “the war”, I’m inspired to pray that God continue to teach me about real courage, because it seems to me that not living in our fears is a big part of what the world needs right now. It takes courage to heed the call of Love, with the big L:) living that life is not for sissies!
    Miss you, when are you coming over to see Brenda Leigh?? bring my black throw rug for a visit!!!

  6. Megan says:

    The BIG L, girl, you said it. Today I was listening to NPR – this thing about sugar plantations in the Dominican Republic (love you vladdy!) – dang. I felt like my circle of concern (prayer-wise and practically too) is just too, too small. We need God’s Big L love, cause this place is seriously mayhem.

    Brenda Leigh!!! Now there is an example of fighting the good fight. So what if it’s just on TV!

    The black throw rug misses you too.

  7. rickzlslexa says:

    Pretty nice site, wants to see much more on it! :)

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