About three weeks ago, I was working with my youngest as she learned to ride her bicycle (with training wheels) confidently. She was afraid and struggling, and in my encouragement to her, I heard the reminders that our Heavenly Father gives to us – “Do not be afraid. I am with you.” I sat down to write about the parallels, and then SARS-Cov2 began to spread across the globe. Fear and uncertainty spread as well; perhaps an even more deadly pandemic. What resulted is the essay below, published by an excellent local website. Please take the time to subscribe to their content as well – it is edifying and healing for your spirit.
One crystal-clear day thirty years ago, a little girl learned to ride her bike with no training wheels. For months, her father had been holding the seat, running alongside her. He may have started her ride by encouraging her that she was “doing great,” but it was his silent, strong presence that reassured her that he would help, that he would not let her go. Every so often, she would say, “Daddy, I’m afraid. Daddy, don’t let go.” He may have whispered, “I am here. I am with you,” or she may not have heard any words, but she would always feel a hand tighten on her shoulder.
Our lives are filled with fear and uncertainty. The shifting decade has brought with it a shift in much of what we once thought we knew as a society. Where, perhaps before, we felt safe behind our walls of vaccination or medical progress, this novel coronavirus has demonstrated that we do not fully understand the world in which we live, that our modeling and predictions cannot trace all outcomes, and that maybe we are more fearful and more fully connected as a species than we would like to admit. We grapple with mastering our technology, before our technology masters us. Our society is gripped with fear – fear of death, fear of not having enough, fear of being alone, fear of others who are not like us, fear of being wrong, fear of being left out. One recent study concluded that our children are now some of the most anxious since data on anxiety began to be collected[i].
And we worry that the study is not accurate…
And we worry about our children…
And we worry about the increase of worry.
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