Sunday, August 26, 2012

Lesson from a Mirage

Are things always the way they seem? 

From our years in the Middle East I can attest that a mirage in the desert can appear to be very real but, when we arrive at the spot it where it seemed to be, it is not there.  Maybe to have moved on to a more distant spot?  Where did it go?

Or, have you ever tried to chase a rainbow, another “mirage”?     Just where the end would seem to be logically, it is not there. And, unfortunately, no pot of gold either.

Fear can often be like a mirage.  The dictionary describes a mirage as something illusory and unattainable, a misconception.   It is an optical phenomenon that creates an illusion, often with inverted reflections of distant objects,

Many times the very thing we fear, a sense of lack, some horrible physical claim, a failing relationship, loss of job,  that mirage in our thinking, never comes. 

My "Lesson from a Mirage" reminds me of a story I heard recently.  A restaurant posted a sign in the window that said, “Free Food Tomorrow”.   When folks came back the next day for the free lunch, the sign still said… yep, … “Free Food Tomorrow”.  That particular “tomorrow” will never arrive.  It proved to be a good laugh producer and I guess the restaurant patrons enjoyed the joke while also learning a good lesson.  Tomorrow will always be Today, tomorrow!!!

So many times when I have been fearful, apprehensive, sometimes just plain SCARED of some upcoming event or looming threat , I have seen this in my own experience.  A particularly good example, and a long time reminder for me, of fear’s false threats was demonstrated by way of my youngest daughter, Paige.  Years ago, as the time to leave for a two week stay at a wonderful girls’ summer camp arrived, she was very concerned.  As a very young little girl, leaving home for the first time for camp, Paige had been becoming more nervous each day as the day to leave got closer and closer.   There were tears and moments of indecision, and  pleas of… “Maybe I don’t want to go” and “Maybe I will go next year when I am older.”  

We weren’t going to force her to go, of course,  but encouraged her and explained that fear was just something trying to rob her of a wonderful time, that fear is a liar and it runs before truth and the light of day  We all learn that lesson to some extent when we are young, as when Dad turns on the bedroom light and the scary, imagined creatures are not really there.

Well, the big day came and we started out bright and early on a several hour drive to the camp in western Pennsylvania with our brave little girl in the back seat.  After about an hour on the road, this precious little face, eyes sparkling and a big smile on her face, peeked over the front seat and happily said, “You know what?  I am not afraid anymore!”   

What a wonderful lesson for her Dad who also faced fears and concerns about many things.  This little girl’s courage and resolve, facing down the fear and the resulting freedom and joy, were a wonderful example of how fear can be met and mastered. 
Like the mirage, fear is an illusion, a non-fact, a lie, or, as the dictionary describes it, “a phenomenon that creates an illusion, often with inverted reflections of distant objects (or occurrences).”    

In the Bible record, Jesus tells the father of a young girl who had just passed away to “Be not afraid, only believe”. Mark 5:35 (Or, don’t believe the mirage or “inverted image”.) And she was brought back to life.    And another Bible assurance says that “Perfect Love casts out fear” I John 4:18.    Are these just statements from a centuries old record of mankind’s spiritual progress, or can they be proven in our own experience, used as a  basis for strengthening our own lives and overcoming dread and fear?  If our minds are filled with Love, there is no place for fear to occupy. 

If you seem to feel fearful today, remember the Lesson from the Mirage.   Fear is an illusion, an inverted view of spiritual reality and you will never reach the spot where fear seems to be. 

With Perfect Love filling your thoughts, there is no fear, only confidence, faith and a growing understanding of God’s Love and guidance.  


TCWCAC said...

beautiful! thanks for the wonderful reminder that fear is an imagined enemy that disappears when the light (of what is true..that Perfect Love casteth out fear) is shined on it.

Patrick Collins said...

True story of how facing fear and replacing fear with love can heal and bless us when we most need it.

kevin said...

Thanks dad. you have a Great Talent for making sometimes difficult concept easy to grasp! Being on the verge of settling my Workers comp. case after six long years, I have had many fears, or uncertainty, about the amount of money, what will I do to earn a living after so long, How will I keep from losing the sum due to poor management, etc.

Your article helped me to see that all I have to do is listen, without fear, and follow the road signs! :-}

Leah Eselgroth Gold said...

Pat dear;

This article discussing the illusionary nature of a mirage was very helpful to me, thank you for sharing it with us.

I especially appreciated this definition: 'mirage...a phenomenon that creates an illusion, often with inverted reflections..' What stood out was the recognition that the mirage is an inverted reflection. As students of divinity, we both consider ourselves to be God's reflection. So when we are challenged with an error of some sort, it helps to break the mesmerism of the challenge by remembering that this error is the inversion of the truth of being, that we are God's reflection, and this mirage of error, cannot and does not exist.

I love this definition, its a great tool.

Loving best wishes......Leah

Patrick Collins said...

Thanks Leah! And the mirage can seem so real... like you could touch it. But, in reality it is just another false image... threatening, beckoning, promising, deceiving... as in all material things.

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