Fear once ruled my life. Yep, you heard right.
As a child, I was so afraid of sounding stupid, I kept my mouth shut. I tried to stay under the radar and never sought the spotlight. If people were focused on me, I might do something to embarrass myself. Why risk it?
As an adult, I was afraid to seek my dream of being a writer because I feared failure. It took an extended illness to force me into early retirement. With all that free time on my hands, I needed something to do, so I wrote stories. Call it escapism if you like, but I retreated into a world not my own, but of imaginary characters who had more guts than me and were afraid of nothing. I learned from them. They taught me not to be afraid of what others might think of me. I realized people are free to think whatever they like.
To celebrate my new bravery, I went whitewater rafting. Our guide tried to scare the crap out of us by telling us what to do if we were thrown out of the raft, or worse, trapped underneath it. I had the time of my life and went rafting twice that day. Then, I did the zip line over the water. Great fun! Now my bucket list includes even scarier things like learning to operate a motorcycle and sail a boat. Yikes! Watch out world, here I come!
Fear is a big money-making operation, I kid you not. Like me, you probably know people consumed with fear mongering. They see it on TV, read it on the Internet, and basically live and breathe it. Their life is filled with gloom and doom. I refuse to live that way.
In a post last August, I wrote about Brian Banks, a future star for the NFL, who lost a chunk of his life in prison after he was falsely accused of rape. Although his world looked grim, he refused to get lost in the darkness, but sought the light. He was given a second chance when he signed with the Atlanta Falcons, but he was cut from the team after playing in a pre-season game. However in January, he announced that he had signed a deal with Gidden Media to make a movie about his life. Hooray for him!
What is fear? Fear is feeling stuck, paralyzed, unable to progress forward. Fear is being afraid of the unknown. Fear is going through life without God. (1 John 4:18) Fear is being afraid to love because you might get hurt. Fear is suffocating. It takes away our freedom, our boldness, our courage. Eradicate it from your life, and you will be happier. I guarantee it because that is what happened to me.