I was listening to a sermon by this pastor and he was joking about his kids irrational fears and anxieties. One of his sons was afraid of bugs, and now has such a bad fear, that he would not even brush his teeth because there was an ant in the bathroom.
His daughter on the other hand, has an irrational fear of almost everything. One of her fears are of villains in animated movies. Her worst villain is Ursula from The Little Mermaid.
The truth is that, we have this natural inclination toward fear and to expect bad things happening. I have often felt from being a self-proclaimed writer and having a super-busy mind and imagination, I tend to run away with my thoughts and with my very hyper imagination. This can help for when you are writing fiction, but does not help when you are trying to maneuver through real life, like a regular person.
Growing up, my escape was books: Nancy Drew, the Hardy Boys, the Three Detectives, Agatha Christie, Harry Potter, Twilight, Dan Brown and John Grisham. The excitement of the unsolved mystery, or the adventure found within friendships, or the morose love story between Bella and Edward. These all entertained me and kept me distracted. I loved these characters so much, as if they were as real as you and me.
Escaping into fantasy is not necessarily a bad thing.
Watching movies and series and reading a good book, is not of the devil. However, when we go to these things, in order to fill our hearts up, they become destructive and somewhat idols, that may distract us from truth.
Related Post: What Distracts You or Knocks You Off Track?
The Twilight books, as romantical and fun as they are to read, actually depict a very unhealthy co-dependent relationship between two people. We need to recognize truth from the lies. The devil’s lies can be very subtle and deceptive. A seemingly innocent book, or tv program can begin sowing unhealthy seeds. Seeds of discontent or of comparison. Thoughts of, “If only my life was like that” or “If only my husband looked like that…”
In 1 John 5:21, we read, “Little children, keep yourselves from idols.”
The Merriam Webster dictionary defines an Idol as,
- a representation or symbol of an object of worship; broadly: a false god
- A form or appearance visible but without substance
- An object of extreme devotion
- A false conception: Fallacy
An idol has no substance. It is merely a shadow, untrue. We need to go to the root of the issue.
- What am I searching for?
- Why am I searching for it in ______?
Changing our focus from that incorrect idol/belief system, is paramount for our success.
“The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, 23 but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness!” (Matthew 6:22-23)
Wherever our focus is, there our heart will also be led.
You can lead your heart, you are in control of yourself. The decision to go watch another mind-numbing episode of something, or to go spend time in the word, is in your hands. Watching the news for example, can create anxiety and worry and stress you out. So maybe you should turn off the TV and spend some time speaking to God about the anxieties in your heart.
There is a solution for everything, every problem, every distraction, every worry and every form of irrational fears, in the word of God.
“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. 5 Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; 6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:4-7
As the peace comes, as the anxiety lessens its choke-hold over you and as you learn to trust and walk with God daily, you will say, boldly and confidently, “Not today Ursula, not today!”