I am not going to drive my car anymore. It is too dangerous. Too many distracted and careless drivers. Too many behind the wheel while under the influence of alcohol or other drugs. Too many carjackings. There have been 851 traffic fatalities on Georgia’s roads and I don’t want to be the next victim.

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I love to travel but I am afraid to fly anymore. I know that statistics show that commercial airplanes are safer than automobiles, but every week you hear of another plane crash due to pilot error, bad weather, or mechanical failure.  Besides, I would have to take a car, train, or bus to get to the airport and that adds to the chances of an accident. Stories of suicide bombers and other terrorist activity are constantly in the news. I am going to stop traveling. It is just too dangerous.

delta plane

Worship and Bible study are very important but you run the risk that some mentally ill person with an agenda will show up with a gun. It is just too dangerous. I will settle for studying the scripture at home and watching the church service online or a television broadcast.

The Atlanta Braves have provided enjoyable outings (until recently) but I don’t think I will be going to Turner Field anytime soon. It is too dangerous. I might get hit by a foul ball or a flying baseball bat. And there is always the good possibility that I could fall over the railing that is to low to protect the fans. I will follow the team on television and rely on Chip Caray and Joe Simpson to make the game come alive.

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Although I do not enjoy shopping, there are occasions when I need something from the grocery, department store, pharmacy or home improvement store. But it is too dangerous. You never know when you will be at the wrong place when a  robbery or some other violent act occurs. Besides there are many options now for shopping online and having things delivered that offer a better and safer alternative.

I don’t have school age children anymore. If I did, I think I would consider home schooling because it is just too dangerous to trust them to someone else. School shootings, abuse and neglect are becoming all too common.

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The world has become a scary place. I am almost afraid to walk down the streets of my neighborhood. It is too dangerous. You never know when you will become a victim of armed robbery or kidnapping.

I think I will just stay home and hope that I will not become a victim of burglary or a home invasion.

I hear comments like the ones above all too often. Situations such as those described do occur daily but we must not allow such incidents to dominate our thoughts. We must not let fear control our lives. I am not advocating for foolish abandon. We must be wise and careful not to put ourselves in harm’s way. But I think Ralph Waldo Emerson was right when he said, “Fear defeats more people than any other one thing in the world.”

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Tragedies of all kinds occur every minute somewhere in the world and frequently nearby. But they are the exception rather than the rule. For every person who is robbed at gun point, there are millions who are not. For every fatality on the highways, there are millions of people who arrive safely at their destinations. For every tragedy, there are  untold numbers of triumphs.

When we are afraid, we are hesitant to try new things, to venture into the unknown, to make the most of every opportunity. Journalist Dorothy Thompson said, “Only when we are no longer afraid do we begin to live.”

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We do not need to ignore the harsh reality of pain, suffering, and violence but I choose to live in hope, not fear, remembering the words of Jesus, “Fear not, I am with you!”

Jamie Jenkins