By Charles Towne                           

Everybody has felt fear at one time or another in their life.

When I was about the size of a wart on a runty toad’s behind I had an intimate relationship with fear.  Fear was a constant companion.  I was afraid of the dark,  noises in the night, trains, authority, and anything I couldn’t explain.

The time finally arrived when I realized that I was afraid of everything, and fear was controlling my life and with that realization, I set out to conquer my fears.

I will never forget the night I decided to confront my fear of trains.  Not far from our home was a railroad track.  This was back in the day of the steam locomotives and the train prowled its way through the night,  screaming at all the R.R. crossings like a manic banshee.

I forced myself out of bed that night and quietly got dressed and, forcing myself to my task I found myself on the railroad tracks.  Soon, too soon, I sensed IT.  Even before I could hear that sinister presence I could feel the violent vibration of iron wheels on the steel tracks.  Then, far in the distance, that shrieking, howling relentless scream filled the night.

I forced myself to stand at the side of the track, my fear demanding that I run, trembling, back to my home.  Then, finally, it was there.  I could have reached out and touched it as it bulled past but it was enough that I was there.  Then, on cue, that whistle filled the night.  I picked up a rock and threw it at the train, and that huge behemoth fled into the night, afraid of the boy, and the train was gone.

Three things I learned that night when I was seven or eight years old.  One was the train was just a train, to be respected, and not feared.  Two, the sound of the whistle was just that, a sound in the night, and three, the night held mystery, but not terror.

There are seven major fears and they can all be banished.  The most debilitating of these is the fear of poverty, believe me, I know from personal experience how poverty can control one’s life.

Another fear is that demon, criticism. Then there is the fear of sickness. Another one is the loss of love, followed by old age.  Then there is the fear of freedom, followed by that final and ultimate fear, death.

As I long ago I forced myself to vanquish fear from my own life I hope to assist you in doing the same.  Our fears might be different but believe me,  they are all within our control.

Papa God advice is good for all of us when He says, “Fear not, for I am with you.  I will not leave you nor forsake you… I am your God!”

Charles Towne is first and foremost a Christian. An octogenarian, author, journalist, wildlife photographer, naturalist, caregiver, and survivor, his life has been and continues to be, a never-ending adventure filled with possibilities never imagined. He has adopted the philosophy that to Live fully, laugh uproariously, love passionately, and learn like there is no tomorrow, is a formula for a long and joy-filled life.


  1. Thank you for this insight, Charles. I agree, unnecessary fear of what we are unable to control leads to anxiety and sometimes, panic attacks. So, let us all live today fear-LESS, confident in the knowledge God has a plan for us and TRUST in him!

  2. Dear NH, Well spoken my friend. What it culminates in more than anything else is applied faith, or absolute trust in a power greater than self. Faith as applied to my experience with the train required a degree of wisdom. Placing myself in the proximity of danger was adequate. That alone was enough. If you notice I didn’t place myself in the middle of the railroad tracks, that would have been most foolhardy and would have resulted in disastrous consequences. Thanks for the comment, Chaz

  3. Sir, I don’t know who said it but… “Whatever your mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.” Your childhood experience with the train in the night was rooted somehow in the influence of a wiser mind than could come from a child. Perhaps one or both of your parents somehow planted a seed of great faith that directed you then and is directing you now. A friend

  4. Dear friend, a praying and believing mother is a greater influence for good than we can imagine. Thanks for your perception and wise observation. Bless you, Chaz

  5. Overcoming fear is always a relevant topic. I impressed you even had the notion of facing and overcoming your fears at such a young age. I was also a “frady-cat” as a youngster and had no ideas of anything but hiding under the covers and clenching my eyes shut. Well done Charles!

  6. Kristin, fear is one thing, but abject terror is another. Yes, my dear, I have felt the fangs, claws and hot breath of fear and I reckon having confronted it for what it set me on the quest to at times, foolishly perhaps, place myself in harms way. How else do we explain my working in close proximity to animals that could end my existence in a blink of time. Zoo directors at times have their lives cut short by their charges. Wildlife photographers are killed by their subjects and we realize the risk, but then you climb into an automobile also realizing the risks. We face our demons, trusting that we will survive because we trust our God to deliver us. It is called faith. Thank you dear friend, Chaz

  7. I know many people who have a fear of flying and as someone with 100’s of thousands of miles in the air I always remind them that the most dangerous part of a trip is the drive to/from the airport. The one fear that I have is the loss of a loved one and I pray every day for the strength to be able to handle it when it comes. My faith in God has helped me through many “fearful” situations. Hope you are doing well my friend.

  8. Mike, mike, there are certain fears we have no control over, such as growing old and infirm, and finally, dying. But then, death is not to be feared if we have perfect faith, is it? The fear of flying is controlled by choosing not to fly, but that is after all a calculated risk, and if that is our choice we aren’t going to travel very far are we? If not fearing wasn’t a possibility Papa God would not have said, ‘”Fear not, for I am with you!” and I, like you Mike, trust Him. Bless you my brother in Jesus, Chaz

  9. Well, Mr Chuck, I can definitely relate to this one! I have had a fear of trains since I was a baby
    but, grew up to enjoy riding on them. It must have been the
    nerve-wracking horn blaring as
    it was approaching. I don’t know.
    But, I was able to overcome it.
    One of the other things I feared
    is losing family members and growing old alone. That has
    happened to me also in the past
    few years…my whole family, including my husband have moved on to Heaven. God has not left me, even though sometimes it may feel like I’m alone…I am not.
    I have learned to trust Him more and more and know that HE is
    in charge. None of this has shocked Him. He loves us and wants us to lean on Him everyday in every way. It has not been an easy path, but I have learned to
    replace fear with faith.
    Thank you God, for never leaving
    me and loving me constantly.
    Thank you, Chuck. It was a great
    article! Blessings on you and Nancy!

  10. CSG, I was somewhat hesitant about this article but it seems that It is something that so many folks can relate to. We all have fears but the closer we grow to the Father the less intense is the fear. What a joy to realize that we never are alone, but He is with us through it all. Blessings on you dear friend, Chaz

  11. Thank you Charlie. I knew fear until my teenage years partially due to poor self worth. I also feel fear is also the basis of caution, a necessary part of our lives. Keep them coming Charlie

  12. Herb, the self esteem issue can cripple us but what I have learned is as I have learned to depend on God I no longer have to rely on myself for He makes up for my lack. Your point on caution is well taken. Blessings on you and your in every way my friend, Chaz

  13. Fear is often crippling: the fear of failure, so challenge is avoided; the fear of rejection – friendships are terminated; the fear of not knowing what to say – silence and withdrawal; the fear of not being attractive – vanity dictates; the fear of illness – hypochondria results; the fear of poverty – acquisition of possessions dominates; the fear of being damned – the Creator’s love and forgiveness is never celebrated. At the root of fear is ego, self-centeredness. The realization that we are spiritual being having a physical experience helps put fear in perspective.

  14. Many years ago I read a book by a Danish mathematician called “Grooks” they were short poems about various aspects of “the human condition”. There was one on facing fear which went – Being brave is acting brave, When the heart is faint!, So you can be really brave, Only when you really ain’t!
    And when we were grade school age, a group of us used to hide in the tall grass along the train tracks and we would put pennies on the track and the train would run over them and flatten them to the size of a half dollar! Sometimes we were so close the train would blow someones cap off and the real danger was explaining to mom why your cap looked like a train ran over it! I guess it’s true the Lord watches over fools and young children! Doesn’t it say someplace that if the Lord is with us what shall we fear? We just need to learn to trust!

  15. Judith, all of this and more. His word tells us that perfect love cast out fear doesn’t it? Let it be said of us that we spread love to all, whether they are loving in return or not. Chaz

  16. Richard, trust, love, and faith, they are the basis for all that is good and true. Thanks for the comment pal, Chaz

  17. Charlitos !!! When I was a adolescence I felt fear about myself and all mistakes that I did. I felt stones on me. Meant eyes from people on me.
    Now on I laugh and laugh and laugh for my mistakes. Mistakes that are lessons for my life. Death ? Mean something will happen someday. But meanwhile, I will enjoy each moment such a treasure like my beautiful friends.
    GOD Bless You !!!

  18. Leo my friend,, live life to the fullest my friend! We have much that is good in our lives, so much to let us know that Papa God is with us and what is ahead of us is glorious. I thank God for his love and your friendship. Bless you my friend and my brother in Jesus. Chaz


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