Facing fears

I know I should not be afraid, but I am. I don’t like scary movies; I don’t like the suspense; and I don’t like being scared. October is my least favorite time of the year, as it seems like no matter where I look, there is some advertisement for a scary movie or fright-fest event.

I suppose one of the reasons I have this fear is because I see these scary things as manifestations of evil, intended or not.  I know that evil exists in the world. It can be subtle and enticing and look like a good thing; or it can be hideous and frightening. But what can it do to me? Can it hurt me? Sure. It can even test my faith. However, I know that as long as I have hope and cling to my faith in God, it can never overpower me. Jesus says, “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body and do no more.” (Lk 12:4). Yet I still do not want to see even the advertisements for these activities as they plant seeds of doubt. I wonder if my faith is strong enough?

We are all challenged daily in our faith and our trust in God. Sometimes the test is easily passed, other times it is a struggle that seems to linger. Either way, God is with us each step of the way, even if we don’t feel His presence. Even so, part of me wants to  avoid these activities because I don’t want to see these scary things, thus avoiding the struggle. But if that were the case, then I wouldn’t want to see or talk to anyone, since we’re all struggling to some degree.

I want to see the good in things. If the main intent of these various seasonal “amusements” is to scare us because they represent evil, then it’s hard to see any good in it. They block us from seeing goodness and God around us. In a Word on Fire blog, Fr. Grunow talks about exorcism and the entertainment industry’s embrace of that theme. He quotes from the novel, The Exorcist, “I think the point is to make us despair. To see ourselves as animal and ugly. To make us reject the possibility that God could love us.”

I’d like to think that my aversion for such things is a gift from God that acts as a shield from temptation and the accompanying struggle.

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