What I Fear the Most

Scott Lake February 6, 2004

There is no sense in beating around the bush. The thing I fear the most is that my faith in Christ is for naught. I Fear that what I believe to be true may in fact just be a myth – another nice story for how the world came to be and how my human nature can be covered and forgiven.

Why is it that this is my greatest fear? Unfortunately, the reasons are terribly, pathetically selfish.

First, is the thought that when my heart beats it's last, when the last synapse in my brain fades, that it will be over. Really over. Of course, some legacy remains behind in relationships with friends and family. Some lasting words and bits of music here and there – but in all reality these will likely not be known by those that I have relationships with in the first place. I think it is C.S. Lewis that claims that we have an innate desire or knowledge that we are eternal beings. His claim is that this draw to the thoughts of eternity is one bit of the nature of God programmed into each of us. I cannot deny the fact that I do have this thought – that my time on earth is really just a launching pad. But it is a terribly empty thought to pose that perhaps it is really just a type of arrogance, to believe that our purpose is for more than procreation while walking the Earth. It makes me sick to my stomach, really, when I think that we may just fade to nothing – disappear without a trace. Not even a fade to black, because at least I can imagine blackness – it is something. I can think about silence; as it is something as well. But to think that my thoughts just stop – that is something I find repulsive.

And there is the second fear that adds to this being my worst fear: That I could be wrong about the most important thing that I think I am right about. You may or may not know this about me – but I like to be right. I like to convince others of my reasoning. I think we all like to be right in a way, but I probably have a little more of this tendency than what is healthy. Of all the things that I have taken a position on in my life, the belief that Christianity is the only way to eternal life is both at the top of the pile and at the foundation upon which all of the rest of my positions take their DNA. So, to imagine that this central 'truth' may not be, well that is a scary thought and I don't like to dwell upon it, though it does happen. I guess it's another form of arrogance.

Brace yourself for another self-centered reason for this fear: If Christianity is nothing more than a myth, then I have denied myself of countless pleasures in this world that my faith considers sin. I need not list them here; they are legion. They constantly nag at me as a thorn in my side. To think that I could have just submitted long ago. Well, I guess I may have missed out.

Lastly, this fear is not as selfish and it is what actually turns and puts my fear to rest: If there is no salvation and ultimately no afterlife, then I have denied my family of the same said pleasures and taught them a foolish way of living and set them up for a meaningless existence.

But what makes me have this last fear? Why, if there is no eternity, should I care about them? Why do I love them? What is the source of my care and love? I cannot attribute it to anything other than something larger than I am. If I follow this line of thinking, it takes me to the myriad roads of possible religions; some of which are not loving at all. Of those religions that can explain the source of love the list grows small. And of those, only one is a large enough idea to include an eternity which is not earned, but granted out of grace. Only one.

And so, the fear is laid to rest. For now.