Monday, July 07, 2014

Fear Itself

I still lift weight three-four days per week but no longer on the WCS campus as I did when I wrote this almost nine years ago. Many of us like being scared of a movie but not so much in real life. Coming into an empty school building very early in the morning can bring on skittish nerves! This is from 11-28-05.

As I do each Monday-Wednesday-Friday from August through May, I arrived at our school building this morning at 4:45 to work out. I used to lift after school but there were too many conflicts with meetings and kids going through their strength routines. One thing about 4:45 a.m.- you don't have to fight traffic to get to the equipment. My workout takes about one hour and fifteen minutes and leaves me physically drained. Most people like having a lifting partner but I prefer going it alone. When I have a partner, I talk and I don't get as much done. Finishing up, I make a quick trip to my apartment to shower and return to school before 7:00 to start another eventful day.

You might think the hardest part of my routine is getting out of bed or finding motivation to go if I don't feel great. Neither of those are accurate. The most difficult thing I deal with is walking into the building. We have a large complex and it can be incredibly dark and spooky at that time. I peek around corners and flip on light switches to assure myself that I am not about to be attacked by some unknown, unseen bad guy. My skittishness this morning was compounded by something I saw on the news while I ate breakfast. Did you know ABC has a news show at 3:30 a.m.? It was about the recording of 'voices of the dead' from 'haunted' houses. Now, my belief of the scriptures leads me to have doubts about that stuff but it was on my mind as I came into the school. My hair stood on end as I walked a deserted hallway and I felt the wall for the next light switch. Of course, there was nothing there- there never is. But an ice machine rumbling in the cafeteria becomes a potential threat to my safety. Last week, someone left a radio on overnight somewhere in the area and I could hear it. THAT was unnerving! I don't really calm down until the next person, Roger Ramirez, arrives at about 5:30. Then, I breathe easier and concentrate on improving my muscle mass rather than dodging the bogey man. You are supposed to do some cardiovascular movements to get you heart rate up- I have automatic rapid pulse without running at all!

There's something about the dark that unnerves us. The Bible constantly contrasts light and dark with light standing for good and darkness representing evil. We associate darkness with the world of sin and Satan while we pair the Father-Son-Holy Spirit with light. I'm no veterinarian but I have never seen animals afraid of the dark. They seem comfortable at any time. My students tell me they would never come into the school building alone when I do but it would not bother them in the afternoon. Brightness reassures us that we will be OK. Jesus contrasted two types of people in Luke 16:8 when he classified all of us as either 'people of the world' or 'people of the light.' In the Gospel of John, Jesus makes what are known as "The Seven 'I AM' Statements." One of these, in John 8:12, states "I am the light of the world." But look what Jesus says in Matthew 5:14 when he declares "YOU are the light of the world." In a sense, he puts the same characteristic on the believer that he has himself! The world is looking for physical light and spiritual light. Jesus said we should let our lights shine so God would be praised. A hidden light isn't doing much good. Children love the Bible song, This Little Light of Mine (I'm Gonna Let It Shine!) It is so simple but it is the essence of evangelism. Jesus tells us in John 3 that if "we live by truth, we come into the light." After we come into the light, we must stay in the light. That's what I want to do in the morning- stay where it's light and stay away from the dark. There was a gospel hymn we sang when I was a boy called
In the Land of Fadeless Day. The song was about heaven and the last three words of each verse and the chorus were identical: 'no night there.' There will be no night in heaven and no fear in heaven. It will be all light. No peeking around the corners and no scary ice machines! Nothing will be there to threaten us. The truth is, nothing can really harm me if I rest in the love of God. I just have to remind myself at 4:45 a.m.!

Applicable quote of the day:
"Work hard.
Speak the truth.
Trust in God.
sign on the desk of Harry Truman

God bless,
Luke 18:1
E-mail me at


Devin Turner said...

hey coach!! I cannot imagine going to school when its dark in the whole building i mean not by myself i mean if we're in school one day and the power goes out and we're around all our friends then its fun yur brave. stay safe kay

Jon said...

I get freaked out if i go to school when its after school so i cant imagine going to school early

Jon said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Peterinhouston said...

Jesus says: " I am the light of the world". So, we must not say or do some bad somethings to some body behind him, because God knows it.

Rosslyn Elliott said...

I also get freaked out even in my own house when it's late at night. The other night I became convinced that there was someone in our garage. :-)

It's a self-protective instinct. We're diurnal. We can't see in the dark. Therefore, we're hard-wired to be afraid of it, for our own good. Maybe nocturnal creatures are hard-wired to fear the light. It seems to work that way for bats.

robert said...

Thanks for sharing. It was your quotation of John Clement's hymn, "In the land of fadeless day..." that caught my eye this morning, but I enjoyed your comments on the darkness.

Did you ever notice in Genesis how the days of creation move from evening to morning (when we would customarily think of a day as morning and evening)? But God takes us from darkness into light. Meanwhile, He gives us songs in the night (Job 35:10; Acts 16:25).

If you enjoy the old hymns, and learning about their authors, I invite you to check out my daily blog on the subject, Wordwise Hymns. God bless.