The Boogeyman and the Big, Black Door

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We have an irrational fear of the unknown. What if we decided to walk up to the Big Black Door and have the guts to open it?

When we were little guys in our own rooms and our own beds...when it was dark and everyone else was asleep...it was real easy to just know the Boogeyman was in the closet. You knew he was watching you, waiting for the moment to jump out and attack. Or maybe he was under your bed, waiting to reach up and grab you. But we just knew he was there. We could feel him in the dark.

Do you remember that paralyzing fear? Your mind screaming? Your heart racing? Trying to decide if you could suddenly make a break for your parents’ room and escape certain death? Knowing he would then chase you all the way in there, breathing down your neck, right on your heels?

Then what if your dad said to go back to bed or else? Most of the time, I decided the “or else” was worth it. At least I knew what a spanking was like, but being grabbed by a monster? Uh uh. Heck no.

The story is told of an evil dictator who would tell men he called up for execution, “You may face the firing squad or you may choose the big…black….door?”

One day, after watching man after man choose the firing squad, a visiting king asked, “Tell me, sir, what horrible evil lies behind the big, black door for the man who chooses it?” The dictator smiled and answered, “Freedom. Freedom lies behind the big, black door. But men had rather face the known, even if it means certain death, than risk the unknown.”

You and I have zero trouble with the Boogeyman anymore. We know he’s not real. He never was. But you couldn’t convince our irrational fear of that when we were young. Why? Because it was the unknown. It was the big, black door.

Today, I still got a Boogeyman. You still got a Boogeyman. We have irrational fear of the unknown. It’s just changed from the closet to out there in the future. Something looming. Waiting on us to let down. To screw up. To make a wrong move and wham—Boogeyman.

I don’t need to rip through a list of our irrational fears that most days seem quite rational and quite real to us. I know mine. You know yours.

Day after day, our fear causes us to just walk up to the firing squad once again. But, what if today, you and I decided to walk up to the big, black door and have the guts to open it? And what if, to our surprise, we found the freedom that had been there all along?

We need have no fear of someone who loves us perfectly; his perfect love for us eliminates all dread of what he might do to us. If we are afraid, it is for fear of what he might do to us and shows that we are not fully convinced that he really loves us. —1 John 4:18 TLB

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