Fear No Longer in Control

By David Pam McQuel
“How old are you?”
I was so naïve and non-chalant unaware of the grave consequences of what I have done.My eyeballs sparkled darting around as if I was innocent.
We are going to take you to school and flog you in the presence of all students, the you will keep keep your class room clean for a whole three weeks.
My heart sank.
Take me before two hundred students and disgrace me?
What I hate, in fact, I dreaded was been put to the spot.
I couldn’t imagine why on earth should they be so cruel to me? I just stole a java phone! I have done worst than that, albeit not caught.
Now they’d shame me.
Of course, except my mum says no. That was the only condition my teacher gave. Mum wouldn’t mind them hanging me. She has preached a thousand sermons weekly about honour, dignity and integrity. She has told us how much she detests being shamed
If only could avoid her knowing about the phone! It was done. The day came and I would be serve mum’s favourite Scripture, “…whatever a man sows that shall he reap.”
I can never forget that day.
It was the longest half a kilometre to school. Mum would go to school with me, not for honour but for dishonour.
She walked behind me, me the culprit in front while she lashed out a million threats. Her threats were nothing compared to the crucifixion awaiting in the presence of 200 wild kids!
Behind my mind was the thought that for a thousand years kids won’t forget that I stole a phone. Every time the thought flashes my mind, I almost nearly pass out.
To cut the story short, I survived the shame, but the scar of the fear has been indelible.
I faced a bigger fear twenty years later at age twenty seven. I have been on a dream job all my friends and colleagues envied me for. I was excellent in my area of expertise, I was young, creative and ambitious.
“Good morning Moses,” most would have me sit down first. I had a bad feeling, and was impatient.
“We had a bad deal,” he continued. “We have to restructure. We have to reduce our nonessential staff, because we lost a major market. You are good and younger. Others have invested so many years and we can’t let them start life from the scratch. You have it all, you can fit in anywhere, and excel.”
Cold sweat on my brow hung. It was like a bad dream. Life has just turned around in a minute. I thought Robin, my young bride. I have planned heaven on earth for her and disaster.
Will I survive this?
Four years ago I had all kinds of an appointment with the doctor. I didn’t like how I felt. I have not had a major health issue in most of my life. Just symptoms and infections that are common to all. And most at times a dose of prescription took care of it.
But this time, it was different.
I came back five days later on schedule for the result. Dr. Kyle wanted to have a moment of counselling with Dr. Dave first.
I was upset. “I am a man. Tell me, I can take it.” When I will not be persuaded, he obliged. I sat down. He advised that I take a deep breathe first.
‘Moses…’ Pausing to get my undivided attention. When he was sure he had me, he continued. “I think you have cancer'”
He was quiet, stared without blinking. We’ve been friendly, but he cannot tell how I will take this info.
He searched my eyes to read my emotions. And with ego in my head, I tried to brave it, and downplay everything.
“Cancer, doc?” I smiled dryly.
As I got to the door, doctor Dave walking me out and much information with I wasn’t ready, he now realized it was showing how worried I was. For the next seven days, I didn’t step out the door. I was indoors large but took the evening to play with my little kids. I needed to make everything look normal.
Weeks and months passed, I did have cancer but it was not life threatening. At its early stage, the surgeon took it out and its roots. I was very much blessed and fortunate.
The afterlife
However, there is a fear I have wrestled with and sends shivers down my spine. Pastor Jones preached during Florence’s funeral. He talked about the afterlife. As he spoke, he seemed to be reading my life, exposing my greed, my selfishness and my fears.
I have never been that scared!
Florence was an amazing person testimonies pour in. She had a definite assurance of salvation, she had people whose lives she changed and so on the list goes.
My life was the opposite. I had my pride, my ego and my unrivalled ambition. I trampled on others, I felt neither remorse nor compassion. I thought everyone was how he was because they wanted to, I blamed the poor for been lazy, sluggish and stupid.
I was a smart guy and my smartness has raise me up. But right inside I was conscious of my inadequacies. I was poor, shameful and destitute.
However, nothing ate me up as Pastor Jones’ question, “where will I be if you drop dead now?” I have despised Christians who are church freaks, who talk openly about Christ or speak in tongues. I attended church for merely social reasons.
To me, they were just trying to make up for not being as smart as I am.
I wallowed in my pride for too long. And now I was as terrified as if my days were numbered.
Somehow, everyday, I come across a reminder that my life is worthless unless I find peace, the peace that is true and lasting.
I have to take the Nicodemus way, find the truth even if it is at night.
Jesus is the truth. He is the one that grants total freedom from fear.

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