Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Conquering Fear: Part 1

"If you listen to your fears, you will die never knowing what a great person you might have been." - Robert H. Schuller

"He who is not everyday conquering some fear has not learned the secret of life." -Ralph Waldo Emerson

Today I was inspired my by wife. A few weeks ago she was taking her new bike for a ride and crashed really bad. I mean she was really hurt, both emotionally and physically and was quite traumatized. Since the accident she hadn't been back on the bike for more then a minute. Today we went out to the farm for a better-late-than-never Mother's Day celebration with my parents and I thought it would be fun to take our bikes. So I loaded them all up. I could see that this caused Jobina a little bit of angst and she told me that she was scared to drive on gravel. Truthfully, I think she was scared of riding at all. But low and behold she let me bring them. Later on in the day my mother wanted to ride her own new bike and so Riker and I said we'd go along. Jobina stayed in the house. As we were getting the bikes ready, Jobina surprised us by getting out her bike and joining us. "I'm just going to bike around the yard," she said.

After we had done this for awhile the rest of us got ready to head out on one of the nearby gravel roads. Before we left, I challenged Jobina to go to the nearest intersection and then go back (it wasn't very far, but it was on the road). She got to the intersection and then I casually mentioned that the side roads were quite a bit less "gravelly" then the main road and then she decided to go try the side road. Amazingly she faced her fear and we all went for a nice 2 mile bike ride.

As I was thinking about it later, I realized that the person who showed the most courage that day in riding was Jobina because she was truly scared and yet chose to face her fear and do the thing she was afraid of. When we think of doing daring things we forget that how courageous someone is depends totally on how scared of doing it they are. I had this cool guy named Warren in my youth group a few years ago. He did all kind of crazy things on a mountain bike. He was nearly fearless, rarely having a fear response - stuff like that just didn't scare him (I daresay it should have!) and it used to bug me because I often was. Now I realize that though he may have been more adept on a bike, I was more courageous because I had much more fear to overcome. Every time we decide to face our fears and do something that causes us fear, we take a step in conquering it. Not only that, but we display something that God desires for us; courage. Do not be ashamed of your fear; instead thank God that you can have courage in the face of it.

May Light increase!


Anonymous said...

You may pat me on the back just a little, Mark, for you would have been proud of me sitting in my back yard with my friend today while the birds from all the neighbouring yards joined us as we tried to sip our T.H. Coffees in peace!! The game apparently was "let's see how close to her head we can get without touching!" Had they been crows I wouldn't have hesitated to take my ounce of courage straight back indoors!
Feelin' pretty brave today,

Dayna said...

i never really thought of it this way before, but i agree. for example, i would have thought that the one who was 'fearless' while mountain biking had more courage (or stupidity!) for not being afraid, but i think you're right that the one facing thier fears (you in the pits, jobina on the gravel road, etc.) is the truly courageous one!

in my own life it's like this: i display courage when i cross the street or parking lot, more so than my mom does when she walks in the middle of it! :)