The Main Character is Fear. But You Missed It...
Embarrassing story time. Ready?
The first time I rode a roller coaster I wet my pants. I was 8, and scared, and begged my father to have them stop the train and turn around the minute it left the loading dock. But, of course, it was too late because the train had literally left the station...there was no turning back.
My body found a way to express the way my insides were feeling at the moment. Terror had seized me, and if I thought I could have survived it, I would have crawled right out of that car.
That first hill...you know, that hill on the roller coaster that gives you enough momentum to complete the other hills...scared me beyond belief. I closed my eyes tightly and held on tightly. And they didn't open again until I hit the station.
Until I knew I had survived.
But, of course, I had to ride it again because a) it was fun and b) in my fear I had missed the whole thing!
On my first roller coaster experience, I thought the main characters were me, my father, and the coaster. But I was wrong. The main character in that story was fear.
In fact, I'd say that fear is the main character in many of our stories in life, though they often aren't named in the credits.
The same could be said in this week's Gospel lesson. Our November texts are tough texts that talk about beginnings and endings, apocalyptic parables that, if we're not careful in our reading, could give us the impression that God intends doom and gloom for humanity (and many so-called Christians have said as much over the years).
But that's not the God we see in Jesus, so that can't be the God we see in Jesus' stories, right?
This week's lesson, the "
Parable of the Talents
," is especially rough (click on it to read it). Go ahead and give it a read. I'll wait.