Monday, March 28, 2011

What are you afraid of?

Fear can be a terrible thing. People can be afraid of all kinds of things - heights, snakes, spiders, roaches...but I think perhaps the worst fear of all is the fear of failure.

It's the "What if's" that bind your hands and feet and make it impossible to move. So you do.....nothing.

I don't remember which one of my children had the worst problem with this, but I do remember that one of them (which shall remain nameless in case they ever decide to read my blog!) didn't want to ride their bike until they knew how. Yes, you heard that right. They didn't want to get on that bike until they knew they wouldn't fail. Never mind that the only way to learn was to get on...they were determined to be a pro at bike riding their first time out. Eventually we did get them on the did, however, take a while for them to learn how to STOP without running into a tree. They were so intent on the peddling process, they didn't listen to the stopping process and for the longest time they would just aim for the nearest tree and run into it to stop!

As adults, we all know that you're going to make mistakes and fall sometimes. It's part of the process. Yes, we know, but we're still standing there staring at our "bike" wondering if it's worth the fall.

My other child - who again shall remain nameless, is terrified of bugs. It doesn't matter that he/she is far bigger than any little bug! Screaming like a little girl and running in the opposite direction can be caused by something that could be quickly smashed with a parent's shoe. That bug is definitely no match for my teenager...yet still the child runs.

I have to admit....I wonder if God just shakes His head at me when I run from something that is no bigger than that bug...when all it will take is a crushing blow from the shoes He gave me and the problem exists no more.

For some, the fear of failure is really a fear of looking foolish! However, in reality the only ones in danger of looking foolish are those that are afraid of it. Those who embrace  it, laugh at themselves, and dive in head first are the ones who look like they are having so much fun everyone wants to join them! They seem to instinctively know - go big or go home.

I have no idea what the future holds...but I know the One who holds the future. I want to live my life willing to step out in faith and embrace whatever He has in store. I don't want to live in fear of what I don't have, what I can't do, or how I might fail. I want to risk looking foolish, knowing that if I fall, I can always get back up again - for He holds me in the palm of His hand.

Whatever it is that God is leading you to, don't let fear of failure stop you. When I taught my child to ride the bike, I eventually let go. We've got a much better promise than that - our Father God will never let us go. If that doesn't crush the bug of fear right out of you, nothing will.

2 Timothy 1:7

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

Isaiah 49:16 (Amplified Bible)

Behold, I have indelibly imprinted (tattooed a picture of) you on the palm of each of My hands; [O Zion] your walls are continually before Me.

John 10:27 - 30
My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.  I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all[a]; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand.  I and the Father are one.”


Ross Jones said...

Great blog! When I was reading this I think of times when we say we are not ready to do something for God...Then, we find ourselvesin the middle of something we were not "ready for" 2 days later! I seem to remember being used to lead sunday school classes even though I had no idea what to do! It takes those around us sometimes to squish the bugs out of our lives!

Kathy Castor said...

Donna, this is such a good reminder! Thank you. I love that Paul gives us permission to be fools for Christ.

BTW, I had to laugh b/c one of my kids was the same way with the bike!

Keep up the good writing, you runner you!

Donna said...

Thanks Ross....seems like I remember those days when you were sure you couldn't do it - but we all knew you could!

Kathy, I knew we were kindred spirits the first time I read your blog!! You keep writing too - you encourage me!