A Maze of Grace

With Friday the 13th approaching, I thought we'd tackle "Fear" this week. I'm reminded of the time a couple years ago when Loretta and I joined some friends at the haunted house at Universal Studios. To be honest, we're not huge fans of Halloween, and I was fresh off a surgery, but we enjoyed getting out with the gang. After dinner, the dozen of us like Scooby-Doo and friends, gathered our collective courage and dared the various mazes designed to haunt and scare. Like, Zoinks! Of course, I was hesitant. Not fully healed and still unable to move well, I was fine to sit it out and meet everyone at the end. And I would have gotten away with it were it not for my pesky friends. But in truth, a few things helped my decision to dare it. First, our group had private security in all directions to help keep us together. And second, the characters - whose job it was to frighten us along each path - were not allowed to touch us. Spook us, yes. Lunge at us, absolutely. But as long as I kept calm, I could walk in a straight line without fear; no need to react, wince or balk.IMG_2925

So like -- "gangway!" -- off we went. As we entered each maze, I literally found myself going through both a physical and mental checklist. First, I stood up tall, drew my core in tight and thought to myself 'nobody can touch you Jimmy. Don't react, just walk.'

Well, I foiled them. As the skeletons in the closet attempted to trap me and the shadowy unknown tried to paralyze me, I thought of each of you. So this week, let's unmask fear -- the good fear, bad fear and the beginning-of-wisdom kind of fear. Hopefully when all is said and done, we can echo the psalmist when he wrote, "When I am afraid I will trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, In God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can mortal men do to me?" (Psalm 56:3-4)

Let's have a good week in this maze of grace. Oh, and one more thing, let's remember to stick together.

--Jimmy Peña

For Discussion: On one of Louie Giglio's "Passion" CDs, Chris Tomlin sings, "I know Who goes before me. I know Who walks behind. The God of angel armies is always by my side." Does that bring comfort to anyone as we start the week?