Thursday, March 23, 2006

Bricks in the Road Explained

My earlier post had nothing to do with bricks in the road, but it had everything to do with what motivated Mohammed Taheri-azar to drive a SUV into a group of college students. Fear.
Fear is a great motivator and modifier, which is why terrorists try to inspire terror.
Fear can be good; fear that we will be broke motivates us to work, fear of the cop who might be around the corner motivates us to keep our speed down, fear that we will be outcasts motivates us to obey the rules of society. A fireman who fears that someone may be left in a burning building is a hero because he overcomes the natural fear of burning and goes in to search. In every example given fear is good, and modifies our behavior. Fear of being humbled also comes into it-no-one likes to be wrong, and the fear of losing face, being humbled, is one of the strongest fears inside of us.
But there are fear and fears. A person is out of balance if an unreasonable fear is given more weight than the reasonable modifying ones.
When I was about 11 years old my family was on vacation at a resort. All the adults had gone off, leaving me and my younger brother alone, with no one else around. On the radio I heard of a prison break, escaped murderers making their way through the woods, authorities warning anyone to avoid confronting them, armed and dangerous etc. I was freaking out. I was sure that they were headed right for the resort, and I was scared. Then it occurred to me that Texas, where the prison break had happened, was like 4 thousand miles from where I was. And I calmed right down. It was an unreasonable fear.
I’ve written before about working for Uncle Ralph, out in Las Vegas. I think I might have mentioned John before, also.
John was the most fear-full man I’ve met. He had so many unreasonable fears that he was afraid they would all get together and scare him to death.
One day, on the street in front of our workplace (Valley View Blvd) a dozen or so bricks had fallen off a truck and were right in the middle of the road. John was afraid of the busy, busy traffic-a reasonable fear-but that was overwhelmed by his fear of an accident happening, and he went out to pick up those bricks. I helped, knowing that it WAS very dangerous-it was a very busy street. I guess I feared that he’d get killed making all those trips alone.
The point is, he was motivated by fear to do something very dangerous, a lesser fear being outweighed by a greater.
Now we’re back to Mohammed Taheri-azar. He was motivated by fear of his god to attempt to kill unbelievers. Not that he was in any danger from the students-he feared his god would not be pleased with him if he did not act as a good Muslim. As I wrote, he moved from being a moderate to terroristic Muslin by getting behind the wheel of that SUV. He was motivated to hate; Christians are motivated to love.
In the case of Abdul Rahman, the Christian in danger of being put to death by the Afghan government for being a traitor to Islam, we have an example of someone facing down the fear of Allah, standing against the religion that motivates the Mohammed Taheri-azars of the world. It may sound strange, but I believe that there are many, many Muslims who are looking at Rahman in awe, are given a bit of hope that someone-one of their own- is standing against the Islam that has enslaved them since birth. He is free from the chains of fear that still shackle them. And though he may fear for his life, he rejoices in the face of persecution. What a witness!
We do fear, and where it says,
“Psalm 111:10
10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom;
A good understanding have all those who do His commandments;
His praise endures forever.”

the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom because we do not fear what we do not believe exists. I have no fear of vampires-they don’t exist. But God does exist, and in Matthew 10:28 Jesus said, “28“Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” That would be God. Fear God and live.

Eccles 8:11-13
11Because the sentence against an evil deed is not executed quickly, therefore the hearts of the sons of men among them are given fully to do evil. 12Although a sinner does evil a hundred times and may lengthen his life, still I know that it will be well for those who fear God, who fear Him openly. 13But it will not be well for the evil man and he will not lengthen his days like a shadow, because he does not fear God.

Proverbs 19:23
23 The fear of the LORD leads to life,
So that one may sleep satisfied, untouched by evil.


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