Monday, November 16, 2009

Mouse or Shadow?

When I was very young my dad was finishing the basement of our home one room at a time. The first room he finished was my bedroom and so I slept down there alone. I never remember it bothering me except one morning when I awoke to go upstairs and as I left my bedroom and looked toward the door that led upstairs I could see through the dusky morning light a mouse on the door. I screamed for my father to come and he ran down the stairs to save me. But as he pushed open the door, I could see that what I thought was a mouse was only a shadow on the door. I felt very foolish, but Dad lovingly took my hand and led me upstairs.

 I’ve thought of that experience often over my life, and when fear assails me I ask myself if this is really something to be afraid of or is it a “shadow.” Surprisingly I’ve discovered that there are many more shadows than there are actual things to fear.  More than that I’ve discovered that even when something is  fearful, fear exaggerates the problem. There is an old German proverb that expresses this well. It says, “Fear makes the wolf bigger than he is.”

Fear is the opposite of faith and when we see fear for what it is and recognize that most the things we fear aren’t real at all and the other things we fear are made worse because of our fear, it is easier to let go of the fear and have faith that all will be well.

As the Lord said, "Look unto me in every thought; doubt not, fear not" (D&C 6:36).


Wendi said...

Thanks for this reminder. I struggle with anxiety as part of my emotional illness. It's been difficult to overcome, but that scripture has been helpful to me over the years. :)

Dani said...

Such a great reminder! I like to think of fear as a tool of Satan to help remind me that I must choose to exercise faith. When I choose to focus on my faith, fear departs (and I realize it was just a 'shadow'-just like shining a light on a shadow makes it disappear).

Sherrie Mills Johnson said...

Wendi, I hope it will continue to help you. Love you!

Sherrie Mills Johnson said...

Dani,Good analogy with the light and shadow. Thanks for adding your insight!