A World of Fear

Running Scared by Bob WelchRunning Scared Chapter One A World of Fear Welch surveys our experience with fear from childhood to adulthood. His conclusion is that fear is natural—we have don’t have to learn it. Furthermore, fears don’t go away. With greater freedom and responsibility, fears multiply throughout life. Welch offers a nice chuckle on the psychiatry of fear: “There was a time when adults were neatly categorized into one of two groups: you were either neurotic or psychotic. Psychotic meant that you were out of touch with reality and afraid; neurotic meant that you were in touch with reality and afraid” (p.22). He goes on to point out that even with the ever-expanding list of psychiatric disorders, fears continue to make up the largest category. Treatments for fear such as medication, psychology, and systematic desensitization don’t seem to get at the root of our fears and worries. Welch suggests that we look outward to the source of our fears and inward to the way we interpret our situations. My own journey I’ve got my share of fear stories: “what’s under the bed” fears from childhood, overactive imagination when working on a ladder, dreams of being unprepared to preach. At forty-five years of age I suppose I work around or work through most of those things. I guess what I’m more interested in, or am more aware of lately is how little anxieties, hardly conscious at all, might be affecting my choices. Am I hesitant to make a phone call? Am I putting off an unpleasant task? Am I putting my head in the sand when it comes to something I’d rather not face? I wonder if these fears are little fissures in my faith? Discussion • What’s your fear factor on a scale of one to ten (one being the least)? • What would it be like to live completely without anxiety? Is it possible?

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