Almost six years ago during my first Advent in Charlotte, Father Pat gave a great homily about being afraid of all the wrong things. It was so good, I remember it to this day almost word for word - and don't worry, I'm going to share it with you! He began:
Did you know that more people are killed every year by champagne corks than poisonous spider bits?Um, Father - NO I did not know that!
The point of the homily was that we are more concerned with if the cookies will be made and the presents purchased and wrapped than if our hearts are prepared to meet Jesus on the day of His birth. All of the cookies and pies will be baked, but if we don't prepare our hearts, we won't be ready for Jesus.
I think about this all of the time when I get a little afraid of flying and remember that statistically more people are in car accidents every year than are hurt in plane crashes. And my college roommate once told me that more people were injured by toilet seats than in plane crashes. So, there you go!
It reminds me of this post by Kendra over at Catholic All Year about encouraging independence in her kids by letting them walk to the park on their own. People asked about kidnapping, which does happen and is a serious thing, but she responds that statistically they are more likely to get hurt in the car with her driving.
The real reason I've been thinking about this is laundry. Now, you're asking yourself, what's dangerous about laundry? Do you have one of those creepy monsters in your laundry room that eats socks? Katie, are you afraid of the sock monster?
Um, no - I'm not. I don't have a sock monster. That's silly. My fear is that the last time I did laundry at my house (which I'm going to move back into on Sunday) my worst fear, that I didn't even know was a fear, happened. Raw sewage flooded my entire downstairs. Now, I've had the plumbing fixed so this shouldn't be an issue. However, I'm still a little afraid and have a feeling I'll be watching the bathroom the entire time to make sure nothing terrible happens.
I know that this fear will go away. How? Well, I've had this before, after my car accident. Where I was afraid every time I was driving that someone was going to hit me from behind, the side, or even the front. I mean, that someone was going to be going the wrong way and hit me head on and not only was my car going to be totaled, but I would be totaled too. It's not entirely gone yet, but it's much less today than it was a year ago (my accident was just a year and three days ago).
What kinds of things are you irrationally afraid of? How do you avoid being fearful when a situation happens upon you?