Fear is a powerful thing. Last week I was asked to speak at a ladies' tea. Now I have no trouble talking to 500 teens, but to speak in front of my peers? My first inclination was to decline, but God wouldn't let me off that easy, and I ended up accepting. It isn't until May, and I'm not sure of what I'll say, but God called me to do it so He will equip me to do it. I just don't think He'll call me to go bungee jumping or para sailing,
Nothing to Fear… Yeah, Right!
By far the greatest obstacle that kept me tethered to my miserable past was the fear of moving forward. As I stepped out, my gut would churn and my hands would shake. Then, just like a turtle who stuck his neck out, I’d retreat back into my shell.
Fear is healthy. We’re designed to fear. But not facing the fear could result in a lifetime in avoidance and missing out on some of the greatest parts of life. Here’s a great example.
When I was a kid, I didn’t swim. I had no body fat and couldn’t stay afloat. During the time that I was avoiding swimming, two events occurred pretty close together. My family went to Myrtle Beach, SC. I was on a rented float and my parents were holding each other, dancing in the water. They hit a drop off and went under. I was terrified. My parents were going to drown. Fortunately, a very strong man rescued them as I paddled toward the shore.
Opting next time to go to the lake rather than the ocean, my parents took us to a houseboat. Inside were all sorts of watercraft
belonging to my father’s boss. My dad stood at the end of the catwalk on the side of the houseboat. He ordered me to come to him. I wasn’t stupid. I knew what he wanted to do. Yet, if I didn’t go, I’d be disobedient. After moments of hesitation and coaxing, I inched forward and into my father’s reach. He picked me up and threw me into the water.
Three things happened. A huge fish with bulging eyes torpedoed toward my face, only to be frightened away at the last second. As I plummeted beneath the surface, my legs got tangled in the two inch cable that anchored the boathouse. When I finally made it to the shoreline, I vowed to not be a swimmer.
To this day, I don’t care to be in the water. What started out as morbid horror, resulted in a lifestyle of not taking advantage of living on the Florida peninsula. I don’t like water sports. Boats are out. Don’t even think about taking me to the ocean. And, no matter how cheap cruises get, they’re all like the Titanic to me.
I’m sure there are things you want to accomplish in life. You have a dream just waiting to be lived. But, you’re timidly taking baby steps, or worse, you hightailed it out of there.
Has fear ever stopped you from doing something you really wanted to do? Did you face it or run? Share it here.