Thursday, October 17, 2013

what are you so afraid of?

My friend, Leslie, is afraid of clowns. My children think this is funny.
They want to send pictures of scary clowns to her at Halloween.
They take after their father. And maybe a little after their mother.
Other people's fears can seem funny to us. But our own fears? Not so much.
Lately, Jesus has been challenging my fears. I have a lot of them. A long list.
1. spiders, cicadas, or any other insect landing on me
2. heights
3. commercials about demonic movies (isn't one Carrie movie enough?)
4. airplane turbulence
5. saying the wrong thing in a conversation
6. making a complete fool of myself (this fear has merit...I do it regularly)
7. being a failure
8. being attacked in a dark parking lot (I WILL use my keys as weapons)
9. losing the people that I love
10. being attacked by a large animal (I dreamed as a kid that I was eaten by a bear)
11. not being able to write anymore
12. going either bald or blind (I'm not kidding)
13. persecution
14. letting my friends and family down
15. missing out on God's will
16. waking up in the middle of the night and finding a stranger staring at me
     (I WILL go for their eyes...fear is a motivator)
17. losing my mind (already happening...who are you?)
18. food poisoning
19. earthquakes
I could go on...but let's not. The thing is I didn't used to be so scared.
These fears have been growing on me.
As a child, I was fearless. I was a bug catcher. A wanderer. A risk taker.
As a teenager, I was a traveler. An adventurer. A fun lover.
The idea of a good adventure outweighed the fear of things going wrong.
As an adult, I think two things have happened.
1. I have had I take less risks because the stakes are higher.
2. I have become a scared-y pants. This is a real word. Feel free to use it.
I want life to be safe, comfortable, controllable, organized, pain-free and not awkward.
And so you see....#17 has come into play...I have clearly lost my mind.
Real life is risky, uncomfortable, out of control, messy,
sometimes painful and in my case, generally awkward.
I can either engage in it...or curl up in a corner and die. (That sounds pretty horrible.)
When I empty life of risk, I empty my life of possibility.
When I let fear win....well, fear wins. And that is lame-o. Lame-o is also a real word.
I know I can't control what happens today or tomorrow for that matter but I
feel something changing in my heart. I recognize it from the old days of catching
grasshoppers and body surfing in the Pacific, flying half way around the world,
and eating tacos on the streets of Ixtapa.
I think I am ready for a good adventure.


taratalkstoomuch said...

Oh, I am ALL about a good adventure! My family knows that there is no stopping me when I've decided we need an adventure. I hope you have a good one coming your way that takes you WAY out of your comfort zone and clear into somewhere new and fabulous!

Kim said...

I was just ruminating on this about myself last night, Sue. (Perhaps you're not losing your mind so much as spending too much time in mine! Now THAT'S a scary place, I tell ya!) Anywho, I get the fear thing. It's the most destructive force I know, after pride. So I must be building all kinds of spiritual muscle since I seem to fight against both all the time. And yet.... So glad to have grace to fall back on. (And it's a good thing it's infinite, I've been falling on it a lot lately.)
Thanks for letting me know that I'm not alone. :-D