April 9, 2011

Strength to Face our Fears

One of my favorite books is David Lederer’s Crazy English, described by Simon and Schuster as a “frolic through the logic-boggling byways of the English language in which . . . a nose can run and feet can smell.”

Included in this dazzling collection of anagrams, alliterations, idioms and oxymora is a list of 125 phobias including such unfamiliar fears as spectrophobia, fear of mirrors; homilophobia, fear of sermons; and ergasophobia, fear of work. Long ago, one of our granddaughters had a boyfriend with the latter aversion.

Most of us will never be the victims of such exotic phobias as Lederer describes in Crazy English, but fears like job security, health, finances, aging, relationships and loneliness are common concerns for each of us at sometime in our lives.

Where do most people find the courage to face their fears in life? Where do they find the hope and self confidence to face the storms of life? Where do they go when all around is sinking sand?

In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus refers to himself as a “Rock,” the cornerstone of a new building, the church, and it is to this solid Rock that believers have turned for strength, solace and hope for two thousand years.

For me, the words of the hymn Solid Rock express so well what it means to look to Jesus as he described himself. Here is the refrain from that beautiful gospel hymn:

On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;

All other ground is sinking sand,

All other ground is sinking sand.