The Essence of Fear

An essay written for an abstract painting for ART STUD 1 THU-3 BY: 2011-11627 BUIZON

What is fear? Fear, as defined by many is the dread of something, most of the time, unknown. People have so many fears: fear of loss, fear of failure, fear of death; for all of these things are unknown. We never know when we might lose something, for who would want to have lost? Failure is also something that we never expect to come, because we always try to achieve success. Death, in turn, is something that a lot of people fear the most because it is something that they do not look forward to. It comes with a whole bunch of other fears: fear of being unprepared, fear of not accomplishing something, and the list goes on.

I, however, fear the opposite of death itself. I fear life. Not that life is something that will eat you alive, although most of the time, that is what life does. Life is something that was meant to be beautiful, but if life was meant to be beautiful, why does it come with so many fears? People may try to argue with me that life is something great. The word “life” is so often used to connote new beginnings and a certain “fresh” feeling.  I am not talking about the word and what it is supposed to imply, but life itself, and the daily struggle of having to live it.

Moreover, this brings me to the abstract painting I composed. The strange green figures on the picture represent a plant, and the brown sharp edges, as compared to the natural look of a real plant, symbolize the different cookie cutters that we are forced to fit into throughout life. We all have to admit it at some point. Every single one of us it squeezed into a mould that is supposedly going to define us for a huge portion of our life, and if we do not fit into that mould like everybody else, we are considered outcasts or “weird.” The thing is, everyone fits into a certain mould, even those who claim that they are nonconformists. They simply fit into the “nonconformist-mould.”

In church, we are called not to conform to the different patterns of this world, and being a Christian, my fear stems from life itself, because I am afraid to fall out of that “nonconformist-mould.” I am afraid to make mistakes. As seen in the painting, there are certain spots of green that overlap over the brown lines, and that is because there are times when I make a mistake and fall out of the mould that I am supposed to be in. What scares me is that I cannot take back the mistakes I have already made. It is like the painting of my life keeps getting messier and messier with every mistake I make, because I keep bursting out of line.

In addition to the small blotch of green on the painting, is a great deal of darkness which seems to get darker as it moves farther away from the “plant” revealing that the plant gives off some kind of light. Notice also that there are small tendrils of darkness that are coming close to the plant as if trying to envelope it in its shadows. Jesus says that in this life, we should be “the light of the world,” which explains the light that the plant gives off. Being the light of the world, we are supposed to guide those who do not know Jesus into knowing him more, because in darkness, that is exactly what light is supposed to do. Light is supposed to act as a guide, and should offer hope to those who have none. Yet the light that is being given off by the plant is seemingly so little, which exhibits another one of my fears in life, and that is that maybe my light is not enough.

Full of darkness, this world no longer has to offer what it had to offer us back then. So many people are lost believing the wrong things and disregarding the right ones because the truth has already been so twisted. A speaker once asked his audience if humans were smarter than animals. Many in the audience said, “No,” with utter contempt for the speaker for even asking such a rhetorical question. However, the speaker went on to say that if animals sensed danger, they would run away from it. An animal could tell if a plant was toxic and would avoid eating it. Us humans, many times, we sense danger, but run towards it. We see a pack of cigarettes with “Smoking is dangerous to your health,” on the cover, but we continue on smoking it. The speaker then again threw the question back at the audience, and this time, they could not answer.

Living in world full of struggles like that, makes it all the more difficult to be the kind of light that God asks me to be – a light that penetrates through darkness. I fear life and not death because after I die, I know where I am going. I know that when I finally breathe my last, I will be taken up on angels’ wings to meet my Maker by the gates of heaven, and He will smile at me with open arms, welcoming me home. I fear life because while I am still living, there is more room to make mistakes.

In conclusion, the dread of something that is, most of the time, unknown, is not what I fear. I fear life – what is certain and what is known; because what is certain is that I will still make mistakes. What is already known is that I am not perfect and there are many things that I regret having done. However, just like the plant in the painting, even if darkness tries enveloping me, I will keep shining my light, because there is a greater fear that has enraptured me, and that is the fear for the Lord, my God. I know that no matter how many mistakes I make, and despite the numerous fears that I have, He will love me no matter what, and when darkness surrounds me, He’ll be there helping me shine my light for the world to see.

For me, that is the true essence of fear.


One thought on “The Essence of Fear

  1. What a beautifully written essay!… Everything you said is true, as far as my experience is concerned…. I am extremely amazed at the depth of your understanding and perception of life at a very young age!… That can only come from above!
    How true that being alive is the home of true fear & not the assurance of what will happen and where we are going when we’re out of breath, for those of us who truly believe… It is that daily minute by minute walk, when you know you try but still realize you had not been the perfect marble that rolled in the face of a perfect Almighty Creator…
    At my late age, I have had all those fears and still do! ….and my realization is that in all my striving I will always be below par and His expectations….. that I will never even be close and all my striving will always be accompanied with fear of the Great God I have come to know…. that my striving and my aspiring are only the result of the inspiration flowing from My perfect God…. that I may always have that goal, with knowledge that I will always miss the target and merely rely on the perfection that He is, which I also have because I am in Him…
    What a concept & reality to embrace!…. and my fear is losing it in the struggles I go through in this life… But how can that be when He said He holds Me in His palm and nothing can snatch me from Him!!…
    What a great God we have !!!!

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