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afraid? you’re not the first…part 1

October 6, 2008


so now it’s october, and fear is a big word. some people are going to spend their money to go and be scared…or at least try to find something that scares them. horror movies are rented, pants are soiled, and adrenaline races…all for the quest of fear.

i for one am not a big fan of being scared. i kind of hate it. i grew up afraid. i was afraid of the dark, afraid to walk up the stairs by myself because i just KNEW that someone was going to grab my leg through the railing, i was petrified when cujo jumped through the window (if you don’t know what i’m talking about you’re just too young), and the sight of a hockey mask still makes me shiver a little bit. one of my most embarrassing moments of ALL-TIME involves myself and fear. we were walking one friday night late to the “asylum” in knoxville–an old “supposed” abandoned insane asylum–with a bunch of people. i remember it was dark and just the intensity of the moment made me jumpy. i remember looking at the group of guys i was with (richard, chris, and maybe one other person) and making the stupidest statement of all time–“hey guys, no FAKE scaring!” i couldn’t shove the words back in my mouth fast enough. richard reminded me of that statement for months. i still would expect he would remember it if i ran into him today.

the bottom line is simple, i HATE being scared. i have gone into “punch first, and ask questions later” mode as i get older, and have had to be mindful of a young child coming to the bedside on more than one occasion. i thankfully still haven’t hit one yet!

so what do you do when you get scared? do you panic? do you freeze in horror? do you shriek? do you get aggressive? i don’t know why, but all of those reactions are pretty normal.

my own kids have their own fears. e-dub HATES thunder and storms. this morning when we got out of the car to go into school, his first question to me was to find out if it was supposed to storm today. the only word for what goes through his mind…panic! lane absolutely DETESTS air horns! we found that out on saturday at the football game. a couple of moms chose to bring them to the game and every time he heard one, he went nuts! screaming and crying were plentiful…and not that kind of crying that says i’m hurt, it was that horrible, i really hate that and i’m scared kind of scream. d-money is just like me. he HATES to be startled…and i know it and do it more than anyone else. EVERY SINGLE TIME i jump out or scream, his reaction is the same, “DAD! AAAAHHHH! that’s SOOO STUPID!” i know how he feels, and have actually taken a vow to not do that again…because i remember how i hated it.

for God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love, and of self-discipline…2 timothy 1:7

so why is our first reaction usually fear instead of power, love, and self-discipline? i know this is a stretch for this verse, and i know that this verse is (in context) is an encouragement to timothy by paul, to live a LIFE that would be confident in Christ, but what i don’t know is why we so often live in fear of things.

can the boogie man really grab me as i walk up the stairs? he sure can if God allows it, but he could also walk up to me in the middle of the super-giant-mega-mart and grab me in the middle of the soft drinks…if God allows it. so why do i spend so much time and energy focusing on the fear instead of the power, love, and self-discipline?

just a thought…and oh yeah…it IS STORMING today!

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