Are you capable of looking directly at the thing you fear most and saying, "If this should ever be Your will for me, Lord, I will accept it with joy even if I don't understand it"? If the idea makes you shudder, don't feel too guilty; I don't claim to be particularly confident in that area either. Perhaps thinking too much about what God might ask us to give up isn't that good an idea to begin with; it has a way of feeding worry instead of dissipating it. If we regularly got our minds off earthly things, and concentrated on God and God alone, we might find it easier to fall so completely in love with Him that we could say with St. Paul, "I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage" (Phil. 3:8). Incidentally, Paul's dismissing his earthly gains as "garbage" is even more radical than it sounds in translation; the original Greek word is a coarse term for "excrement."
Not that Paul's primary goal was--or that anyone's primary goal should be--hating earthly things for the sake of hating them. His purpose was to stress how much more God is worth than "all [other] things [combined]"--something few of us find easy to accept. All our goals, our dreams, our attempts to control our own lives are manifestations of the idea that we know what we must have. And since there is no absolute guarantee we'll be able to hold onto anything, most of us are ruled to some degree by the fear of loss.
The only way out is to surrender completely to fear of the Lord: a terrifying leap into what seems like utter blackness, a complete loss of control.
Which, of course, is the point. The only people who know true security are those who trust God--rather than themselves--to control every aspect of life.
There are those who would have us believe
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