One of the nice things about becoming an Elder in our Tribe is knowing that you can probably handle whatever comes your way. “Whatever does not kill you, makes you stronger” is a true statement. The big fear, death itself, seems to be an old friend when you have been asking yourself about it for sixty years. Yes, it is unknown, but it is not an elective. We are all going there.

Fear, however, still seems to be the most powerful force we deal with on a daily basis. Any management consultant will tell you that fear is the big motivator in any business in the world, which appears to be true. Many people have lived their entire lives in fear-full situations. Fear breeds ulcers, distrust and true unhappiness.

In the past few years, something new has been added. When we first logged on to the Internet in the early nineties, we believed this to be the great communication tool we had dreamed about for so long. It was and still is. Now, however, the Internet is filled with fear and we have no idea who is generating it or why.

Everything that happens today seems to be followed within hours, by a comprehensive post about the supposed conspiracy behind the event. Disinformation is the rule of the day and seems to be everywhere. Now we read the Occupy and Anonymous Movements have been co-opted by the National Security Agency for purposes of discrediting what they are trying to accomplish.

Unfortunately, our Fear of Government (FOG) has brought us to this moment of fear of guns and fear of having our guns taken away. What a mess! Remarkably, there are many people who believe their assault weapons and other armaments will protect them from a government take-over. Texans, especially, seem to have forgotten the real lesson of Waco. Our government is forever better armed than any entity in the world, and we are not going to be able to challenge the government with the guns we hoard in our basements. Period.

This coupled with the fact that our government rammed the Patriot Act down our throats after less than thirty days of writing and discussing that 363 page document. Forcing us to willingly give up our Constitutional rights in the name of security, has only added to the problem. We are not safer as a result.

Our forefathers knew they would have to stop the British, but that was the smaller part of their two problems. The bigger problem was creating an entirely new way to govern ourselves effectively in a system exceeding a kings’ power.

Today we face a similar problem. We have to create a new way of governing our lives that works in today’s realities. And it demands to be based on inclusivity, lack of fear, equality and genuine freedom.

Fear causes many of us to seek ever more fear-full means with which to threaten others. First it was 10 megaton nuclear weapons. Now 100 megaton bombs are all the rage………trouble is, no one will survive such a war.

We Texans think of ourselves as God fearing, Bible believing worshippers of the Almighty. However, when we observe how we deal with fear, we negate that belief. We need to remember the spiritual consequences coming to us when we choose to kill or attempt to kill one of our brothers or sisters. If we really trusted in God, we would allow Him to lead us through the various shadowy valleys of death we traverse in this lifetime with the powerful faith that God will always protect us in miraculous ways not possible for those relying on killing machines to protect themselves.

So this is a moment of faith for us all. Either we believe what we say about our faith and our God, or we trust our weapons. Here is the test: which will you take with you when you leave this planet, your guns or your faith? Choose wisely, we’re all playing for keeps!

This article is published in the February 7, 2013 edition of The Hill Country News.