The story might have been different

I was thinking about Mary on Sunday morning.

That’s good, I suppose, given that I was in church and it’s a couple weeks before Christmas and the sermon was about Mary (the mother of Jesus). I mean, if I had been thinking about Moses, that wouldn’t have made sense. If I had been thinking about lunch, I would have missed the whole point of the message.

That’s not to say that thinking about lunch while sitting in church is unusual, or even particularly wrong. It happens all the time to humans who were created, after all, to get hungry.

But I was thinking about Mary and I was thinking about A Million Miles in a Thousand Years. It’s a book by Donald Miller that has affected a lot of people around me during the last year.  (I wrote about it). Miller point in the book is, if you don’t like the story your life is telling, then tell a better story. In the middle of the book, Miller writes,

“But I do think there was something to what Mike was saying, that the great stories go to those who don’t give in to fear. The most often repeated command in the Bible is ‘do not fear.'” (108)

That’s what Gabriel the angel told Mary.

Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be.  But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God.” (Luke 1:29-30)

Actually, he told her not to be afraid AND that she was going to have an amazing baby in an amazing way.  And you wonder what would have happened if she had said, “No thanks, I’d rather not.”

Just think of the story she’d have missed.

I’m wondering what I’m missing for fear.

A couple notes. The book link is an affiliate link. And Frank Reed talked to me about being a social media chaplain yesterday at Marketing Pilgrim.

5 thoughts on “The story might have been different

  1. Rich Dixon

    We need to remind ourselves that “don’t be afraid” doesn’t mean “it’s wrong to feel fear.” As Miller says, the story gets diminished when we GIVE IN to fear.

    In Mt 14:27 the disciples saw Jesus walking on the water. He says, “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”

    Courage isn’t absence of fear, it’s doing what’s right despite fear.

    Mary felt fear and obeyed anyway. I wish I did that more often.

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  2. AJ Leon

    There was a dark period in my life where I was governed by fear. I felt like I would watch myself cower away from opportunities, I was almost paralyzed. When I left my high paying job a couple years ago, I promised I would never make a decision based on fear again, since then I haven’t. And I am better for it. 🙂

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