I got a large black spider out of the bath this morning before my visiting girls were up. Just as well they didn’t see it (and thankfully it didn’t try and squeeze out of the cloth or might have dropped it-phew!)
Fear comes with many faces and manifestations. Sometimes it is there, nagging in your ear for days at a time (or in some cases much more). Or it can leap out at you, catch you by surprise and chuckle “I got you” while you sit in a despondent heap. Fear can be a well known enemy appearing at the worst possible moment or just a minor irritation. It can appear to be rational or be apparently completely irrational (but with a hidden reason). Often it needs us to take a deeper look inside..
What are your fears? Is it a task at work that you don’t feel up to? Feeling inadequate when you have to go and mix and mingle in a social situation? Whatever it is it can make us want to run away and hide or use a coping mechanism that isn’t always the best.
60@60 made me face a number of fears head on. Fear of heights is one I’ve commented on a number of times. That knot in the stomach; the sweaty palms and weak legs; the voice that said “can you do this? But in a sense it wasn’t the actual activities that was the biggest hurdle. Fear of failure was a huge one for me in all sorts of ways-fear of not being able to finish a days walking; fear of not being able to think of enough interesting ideas; fear of not getting anywhere near my target either financially or numerically. In a way 60@60 made me accountable-I couldn’t be paralysed by fear when I’d said I would proceed. I found the only way forward was to do it afraid and to ask God for help. And so often the reality wasn’t half as bad as I feared.
Persecuted Christians have real tangible fears to address. In the middle east the honour of the family is at stake-if I become a Christian I will be rejected and beaten. In North Korea if I am found to be a Christian I will be sent to a prison camp and possibly worked to death. In Nigeria my house may be attacked and burned and I be killed or raped depending on my gender. And in Afghanistan today, if I’m discovered to be a Christian what will the Taliban do to me and what should I do next? What would you do if it was your choice? Very real, tangible dilemmas, especially if you are isolated and alone. Please remember them today.