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Genesis 31:55- 32:24a

There is something to be said for fear. On one seminary study tour to Israel and Palestine, we were on our way back from Beersheba to Jerusalem. The Israeli authorities were advising groups to follow a route that stayed in Israeli territory rather than risk trouble driving through Hebron, but that added an hour to the journey, and I knew a way of getting to Jerusalem without going through the center of Hebron. Unfortunately I got our minibuses to turn off the main road one junction too soon, and we found ourselves in another small town where people were even more hostile to Israelis. As we drove down the town’s main street in our Israeli-registered vehicles, people started throwing rocks at us. I was riding shotgun, but I didn’t have one, and I remember thinking, “This is a very interesting experience, though it would be as well if we got out of here.” Afterward I found myself reflecting on the way other people were very scared (and incensed with me), whereas I was not. Sometimes, not being afraid is not a strength but a weakness. I don’t do “scared,” and I can risk things that are actually unwise. Fear is an important positive emotion. It can be debilitating, but it can keep you out of trouble...

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