Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Yes and No

Many of you who have known me for a long time know that I do not like to fly. Actually, I could live forever without getting on another plane and still be happy.

I am not sure if my fear is a control problem (I want to be the pilot) or a thinking problem (I have seen too many movies). Either way, I have been tormented by the fear of flying--or crashing.
The crazy thing is, I fly all the time. I have never been one to run from things that cause me fear, but I have been one to suffer due to the fear. I also make others who fly with me miserable.

Recently I have begun to discover a new spiritual truth that has helped me immensely with the flying and fear issue. It is what I call "Yes" and "No" deciding with Jesus. Here is how it works.

In the sermon on the mount Jesus says that our "yes should be yes and our no should be no." He goes on to say that anything that is beyond "yes" and "no" is of the evil one or the devil. I have spent years and years meditating on the words of Jesus and I have found that I very often try to make His words make common sense. They do not. They need to be obeyed to be understood and experienced. They are supernatural and they are for grace, peace and love not for giving me control or intellectually satisfying reasons.

So, I have begun to fly "yes" and "no" with Jesus. I simply begin the entire flying experience by asking Jesus, who abides in me, if He wants me to fly. So far, the answer has be "yes" every time. Instead of trying to fight the fear by reasoning, discipline and will as I normally do, I just go with the "yes". When turbulence hits during the flight, I ask "Jesus, should I be afraid?" Every time the answer is "no." Peace immediately comes. No kidding!

This may sound like a mind game, but I believe I am being released from fear by "yes" and "no" relationship with the only One who really knows me and my fear.

I have begun to use this same approach to all kinds of situations that I find troubling, irritating or frightening. It works.
"Jesus, should this person make me so irritated?" "No." As soon as the "no" comes I am released. It is as if asking Jesus takes the person's irritating behavior away as my main stimulus and in its place Jesus' peaceful "no" takes over. "Jesus, should I fear this person's rejection?" "No." Peace comes.

Paul said in the book of Colossians that we let the peace of Christ "rule" in our hearts. Rule means submitting to another as the final word. I guess "yes" and "no" is about a final as one can get and it certainly brings peace when we trust the one in charge.

This all may sound humorous, but for one fearful flyer it has made an enormous difference. What are you afraid of? Maybe asking Jesus for a "yes" or a "no" instead of figuring it out on your own is your answer, too. I believe it is.