Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The only thing we have to fear...

I purchased a “No Fear” t-shirt in junior high. I had one about baseball, the bases were loaded with two outs…something like that. Then, the Pastor at my church preached a mid-week sermon on why “No Fear” wasn’t such a great thing. We were told that a healthy dose of fear was what the doctor ordered. Then I bought a “Fear Not” shirt and wore that around for a few years. I would roll the sleeves and wear them with denim shorts…jorts if you will.

Yesterday I was speaking to a friend who has been encouraged to apply for a discipleship program that she feels "may be too much for her". I started wondering how often we make decisions based on what we feel we cannot do. I’m not referring to over-committing ourselves; sometimes we must say “no” to things in order to say “yes” to what is really important. But when we have the opportunity to take a risk and try, how often do we dismiss the thought because we don’t feel we are up to the challenge, or the idea frightens us.

Just this Monday I went up to the mountains in northern Arizona where there is snow. The high may be 78 degrees here today, but there was plenty of snow in Flagstaff. We pulled out around 5:30am to be able to make it to the slopes in enough time. The last time I skied was in 2002. I skied sporadically through high school and college, but never frequently enough to push myself. I think that I’ve skied a few blues, but never a black run. Monday I was skiing with a family who was pretty much raised on the slopes. I took two runs doing pretty well before we jumped on a new lift. Half way up the lift Brian said, “Uh…I don’t think this is the right lift.” How did he know that? When we reached the top I discovered the only way down was a black run. They tried to encourage me by letting me know we would stay clear of moguls, but that didn’t really help at the moment. I was doing fine for about the first five minutes, and then we came to the steepest portion of the run. My immediate thought was “No way. No heck way. I’m not doing this.” As my two skiing companions headed down I had a discussion with my self that seemed forever but probably lasted less than 5 seconds. I made the decision that I would never let fear alone be a reason for not experiencing something in life. I will let common sense be a factor, but not fear. I bent my knees, hugged the mountain, and kept my snow plow at the ready. I was fine, and the feeling at the bottom was amazing. I didn’t fall, didn’t injure myself, and I had accomplished something that I was initially terrified to do.

When I spoke with my friend I encouraged her to think all the way through her “no” response to the program. It would be one thing for her to say “no” if she really wasn’t interested in it or thought it didn’t line up with what the Lord had for her. But to say “no” because of fear of failure or simply fear in general…I wouldn’t let her get away with that.
Next time I'm going for the moguls.

No comments: