Monday, February 18, 2008

Fearing the Worst

Fear seems to be the powering force for many- no, most people. If not at present, at some time in all our lives fear will be the over-riding mandate propelling us aimlessly forward or keeping us rooted in the same stagnant spot.

I’ve experienced this in my own life and watched it lived out in the lives of those around me. It seems really dumb to think that fear could run the life of a mature woman who has solid faith in a God who controls the universe, but if I’m honest, I have to say at times this has been the case.

Lame Fears

I’ve known the whispering fear that maybe I have heart problems because of family history (which has proven to be completely without merit). I’ve known the persistent fear of family with chronic illnesses. I’ve known the what if fear, that distracts me from fruitful productivity. What if the money doesn’t come in time to pay the bills? What if that mole is cancer? What if my daughter doesn’t like teaching school? What if marriages fail, people die, cars crash and it rains on Tuesday???

Fear of failure has caused me to not move forward on a project I really liked. Fear of successs (success! -- you read correctly) has stopped me from doing great things because it might take me scary places and people would see what a fraud I am.

Horrific Fears

The worst kind of fear is the imminent threat fear. I’ve lived out a few of those that will linger in my heart for the remainder of my days on earth. One was during an off-road ATV trip in which my son went off a cliff. Unfortunately, he was out of our site when this happened and with a long line of riders, was not noticed missing until we came to a stopping/regrouping point. We backtracked and were met by some other riders who had discovered him. His vehicle was squashed and he was banged up and bloody, but was not seriously injured. The fear I felt while waiting for him to turn up was pervasive.

Another of those paralyzing times of fear was at a resort in Mexico. My 23-year-old daughter had been out with friends and failed to show up in our shared room. At 2:30 in the morning I began to feel uneasy and started calling our family and friends in the hotel. Those she had been with had gone to bed long ago.

My blood turned to ice as I envisioned the face of Natalee Holloway, the young lady who disappeared while on vacation in Aruba. I know that my daughter makes friends easily and could imagine her trusting the wrong people. Family and friends were rallied from their beds, all sharing the dread and fear that she had been harmed.

Thankfully, she had gone to spend some quality time with her brother and sister-in-law, the only people I didn’t call. I couldn’t imagine her stopping by the room of these newly-weds in the middle of the night, but that is exactly what happened. As I was charging out of my room to search, she walked up, being sweetly escorted by the young couple.

How’s it Workin’ for Ya?

Now, the point of sharing this fear fest: it doesn’t work. Fear doesn’t help, it doesn’t change things and it doesn’t make you feel better. While it might seem like we don’t have a choice, the fact is, we absolutely do.

The Bible is full of verses dispelling fear with it’s opposite: peace.

If you don’t have time to comment, pass this along and please, don’t FEAR offending me!

Diane Markins

1 comment:

--jeff said...

i've wondered many times in the past how different my life would be right now if i had not been afriad to do something. this was a great reminder to be bold. ...i'm not admirable, nor do i have any leadership skills if i'm afraid of where a certain road might take me.