I read somewhere that everything you’ve ever wanted in life is on the other side of fear.
So that got me thinking. Why does fear play such a vital role in our loves?
Take my two dachshunds for instance. One evening, I let them both out to go potty before bed time, and not even five minutes later, Lucy came scurrying in. She looked like she had seen a ghost. She kept scrambling up to me, and then back out the door, poking her head around the corner to see if I was following her. Lucy kept the charade up until I followed her outside.
And goodness. What a scene to behold outside. Annie was standing about a foot away from the fence, tail raised, ears back, barking with everything she had. And on the other side of that fence, about the same distance away, was her new friend. A skunk.
All at once, visions of Peppy Le Pew eu de par-fum danced in my sense of smell. And yet there was little I could do in the situation because if I stepped closer, I would more than likely wear the skunk’s revenge as well.
Annie didn’t let up. Peppy Le Pew didn’t let up either. As sixty seconds of Battle fell to the ground, the skunk sprayed the tar out of Annie, and sauntered away. Annie, on the other hand, shook off what she could and came flying in my direction, confused and disoriented with what had just taken place.
I bathed in her tomato juice with baking soda, and it tinted her pink. It was nearly 11:00 on a school night, so we stayed pink until the next afternoon when I bathed her in her oatmeal puppy shampoo that washed out the pink.
The funny thing is, if Annie could have a hashtag after that incident, I swear it would read, #noregrets.
Let’s look at how both of my dachshunds approached the same situation. One could argue that Lucy was smart enough to actually have fear. She knew trouble when she saw it and tried to stop the inevitable. I’m sure she tried to get Annie away but Annie wouldn’t have it. Lucy also knew that her mama needed to intervene.
So then there’s Annie. Sweet, brainless, little Annie, who stood her ground against the enemy, and protected her territory at the expense of her smellalicious state of affairs. She certainly took home the trophy for last man standing, but she also didn’t have the fortitude her sister had in recognizing danger. Even if she had, she figured she could bark it away.
When Jesus was crucified, His disciples stowed away in a house. They refused to come out. In a word or a few, they were terrified that something like that could happen to them. In the coming days, Fear controlled them so deeply that even when Jesus revealed Himself to His disciples three separate occasions, His disciples were clueless. They were Lucy. Skeptical. Fearful. Alertful. Afraid to do what needed to be done in fear of real life consequences to themselves.
I’ve always imagined the scene of the Holy Spirit beckoning to these men, as a warm summer breeze would beckon us out to our porches and our backyards. I imagine a voice so tender, so comforting, so undeniable, that their fear collided with resolution and in that collision, faith was born.
On the other side of fear, Peter became the rock of the church. On the other side of fear, Paul wrote such passionate letters to the church that their relevance has outlasted time. And on the other side of fear, these men kept Jesus alive and sought a will greater than their own.
It’s powerful stuff, no question.
And I think that fear is an okay mechanism to keep at bay, no question. But are we truly obeying and reciprocating and proclaiming if we don’t jump over that line in the sand and take the risk? Are we truly living if we shut ourselves away from all of the skunks and persecutors and modern day Pharisees of the world? Are we?
Seems to me faith can’t exist without fear because faith conquers fear.
Seems to me that fear can’t exist without faith because faith is on the other side of that line.
I pray wholeheartedly that you are able to get past the Lucy in you and tap in to just a smudge of Little Annie’s boldness. Whatever it is, however much the moment weighs, I can tell you this: it is nothing compared to the sheer joy of letting it go.Read More