Click Map for Details

Flag Counter

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Anxiety and Faith

When have you felt unqualified to do something for God (e.g., give an extemporaneous speech or teach a class of Junior High students), but did it anyway? How did you get past the fear? What challenge is facing you now that you can’t handle alone? (Serendipity Bible 10th Anniversary Edition, page 1266-7).

Qualified defined:

Meeting the proper standards and requirements and training for an office, position or task (WordWeb Pro);

fitted (as by training or experience) for a given purpose : COMPETENT : having complied with the specific requirements or precedent conditions (as for an office or employment) : ELIGIBLE (Merriam-Webster).

Let’s get one thing abundantly clear, the challenges presented in this life--no matter what one’s field or specialty--guarantee that no one is completely qualified to meet all contingencies that can impinge upon human experience. For example, astronauts undergo extremely rigorous and exacting training, but clearly unanticipated things can happen in outer space that no one can be adequately trained for. So there is a sense in which none of us are totally qualified even in our field or specialty. To assume otherwise automatically opens us up to the risks of arrogant blindness. It can even be said that if one is engaging only in activities for which they are totally and completely qualified, then they are shutting themselves off from experiences necessary for continued learning and growth. Sometimes we sneer at those we label “perpetual students.” In fact, that’s what we all must be.

Now as to the question regarding the existence of some anxiety when undertaking tasks for God, I can only say that if you never encounter this anxiety, then the tasks you are being called to meet are of your own selection rather than God’s. God, as Creator, puts us in situations where creativity is called for amidst the unfamiliar and unexpected. Such a perspective is required for us to push past angst and anxiety and to move forward to accomplishment. Faith is not necessary in Elysian Fields of certainty, but rather in a world impinged by uncertainty and challenges not neatly delimited. Paradoxically, in this sense, the absence of all anxiety is an indicator of shortsightedness and should itself rightly be the surest source of it.

Print Page