Miracles News

January-March, 2019

Overcoming Fear

by Rev. Larry Glenz, O.M.C.

Ever since I was a young boy I respected people who showed courage under difficult circumstances. But I never really felt courageous myself. I was afraid of so many things, so many people, and so many negative outcomes that I would imagine. But those that appeared to have more courage than I certainly impressed me.

I lived in a racially mixed town that was segregated by neighborhoods. The elementary school I attended was all white. I recall incidents of being very afraid whenever I saw black kids on the street. They recognized my fear and sometimes enjoyed threatening me with bodily harm. I hated being so scared and was ashamed of my cowardly thoughts and behavior.

In my teens I was a pretty successful student athlete but I still feared not being good enough. As a high school wrestler I had some impressive skills and a good record. Nevertheless, I had a haunting fear of losing. I would exhaust myself with worries about the imagined abilities of my opponent before each competition. I remember wishing I had a screw in the side of my head that I could turn to get my thoughts to change.

Other people did not see me as fearful. I had good grades and was recruited by some of the best schools in the country. I received awards for both academics and athletics. But I remember feeling the fear of failure greatly when I graduated high school at age 17.

Few people would have believed I was a fearful man in my 20’s and 30’s. I had a beautiful wife, two fine sons, and good job, a nice house, and many friends. But when my marriage fell apart after 19 years, I felt scared, weak, and full of doubts about my life.

I had always claimed to be an agnostic. I remember saying, “There may very well be a God but he is not paying any attention to me.” My divorce felt like an open wound and my fears about the future were overwhelming.

It was then that a close friend handed me a cassette tape of the book, A Return to Love, by Marianne Williamson. He knew I was turned off by religion but he said the tape might be something that could help me.

I listened to the author of the book speak about A Course in Miracles. She spoke about the Workbook of the Course and how it gave one a process to gain spiritual strength. It was described as spiritual weight lifting.

I listened to the tape repeatedly for weeks and eventually bought the three books – the Text, the Workbook, and the Manual for Teachers. I felt inspired to devote myself to the lessons in the Workbook. In a very short time I was connecting with the Holy Spirit that resided in me.

Although I did not understand much of the Text and the contents of the Workbook, I somehow believed that I was holding the truth in my hands. I had the answer to all my fears if I was just willing to hand them over to my Higher Self for clarity.

It was not a quick process but I never missed a day of picking up the Workbook. I was told I did not have to like the lessons or to even believe what I was reading. But if I were willing to keep devoting myself daily, I would gain spiritual strength from my personal connection to the Holy Spirit.

Now I had a place to take all my fears and doubts. I was being guaranteed that if I handed over my fears to the Voice for God, the Holy Spirit, they would dissipate and be replaced by the strength of God’s Love. My studies of the Course served as the screw in the side of my head that I could turn to get my thoughts corrected.

“Whenever you are afraid you are deceived, and your mind cannot serve the Holy Spirit.”  (T-2.III.5:9)

The Course was convincing me that fear was never justified and every tough situation was the perfect lesson and forgiveness opportunity for my continued spiritual growth. I now had the perfect place to take my fears. Just hand the fears to Holy Spirit and let go of the outcome.

There would be many tough times ahead. The Workbook, however, had transformed my thinking. I would still become afraid– sometimes terribly afraid. But I now had the strength of Holy Spirit’s help and guidance.

“All healing is essentially the release from fear.” (T-2.IV.1:7)

I now depend on Holy Spirit’s guidance. I forget to listen sometimes but He will always bring me back. And I am so grateful for the strength I have received.

Rev. Larry Glenz, O.M.C., is a Pathways of Light minister living in Long Beach, New York. Email: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

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