“We have nothing to fear but fear itself.” — Franklin Delano Roosevelt
We all have them.
Our fears come in all shapes and sizes. From the fear of driving on the highway at high speeds to wondering if a loved one is going to survive a health scare. We face things daily that disrupt our comfort level.
Fear is an asset in some situations but a liability in others. There is a difference between a healthy dose of fear and an unhealthy dose of fear.
A healthy dose of fear is a gift that protects us from danger.
A healthy dose of fear causes us to seek out the best possible treatment for an ailing loved one. Author and security expert, Gavin de Becker is a one who understands a healthy dose of fear. He owns a large firm that provides consultation and support on issues of personal safety. He helps people manage their fear. He wrote a best-selling book entitled, The Gift of Fear and Other Survival Signals that Protect Us from Violence. It is fascinating reading.
In the book he talks about intuitive fear that helps predict human behavior with regard to violence. It is intuitive fear that protects us from harm. This kind of fear is central to our safety and the safety of those we love. It is necessary for our survival.
A healthy dose of fear leads us to take precautions like buying a safer car or installing a security system or changing our passwords frequently. Fathers of daughters want a healthy dose of fear to be present in their daughter’s potential partner.
On the other hand, there is unhealthy fear.
Unhealthy fear can lead to life stagnation.
Ever get the feeling your life is going nowhere? Ever ask yourself why? Maybe it is because our fears are keeping us tied down. We know it is time to step up and face them.
Life is best lived when there is a sense of novel adventure. An adventurous life means we push the limits of our fears. It means that we take calculated risks that get us off the couch and into the game of life.
Healthy fear calls us out to attack the inner struggle between anxiety and faith.
Faith is inspiring you to take a risk. What is it?
> To get involved in a volunteer project?
> To reach out to a friend who is hurting?
> To initiate a new program?
> To give more of your resources to help someone?
> To be open to new perspectives and ways of thinking?
> To make a new friend?
> To stand up for a value you believe in?
> To express gratitude or affection even if it is hard for you?
“Fear never wrote a symphony or poem, negotiated a peace treaty, or cured a disease. Fear never pulled a family out of poverty or a country out of bigotry. Fear never saved a marriage or a business. Courage did that. Faith did that.” — Max Lucado in Fearless
Faith means taking a step of courage. All it takes is one step.
In the movie, “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade”, Indiana Jones (played by Harrison Ford) has to pass three tests to reach the Holy Grail and save his dying father. The first test is, “The Breath of God,” which involves walking down a corridor where he must bow down at the precise moment to keep from having his head cut off by large revolving metal blades.
The second test is “The Word of God” where Indiana must walk on the right stones — the ones that spell God’s name in Latin — to keep from falling through the floor to his death.
The third test, “The Path of God” is the most difficult. Indiana comes to the edge of a large chasm, about a hundred feet across and a thousand feet down. On the other side of the abyss is the doorway to the Holy Grail. He has to jump the gulf.
He says to himself, “That’s impossible. Nobody can jump this.” Then he realizes this test requires a leap of faith. His father says, “You must believe, boy. You must believe!” Even though everything within him is screaming that he must not do it, Indiana walks to the edge of the cliff, lifts his foot and then steps out into thin air. But he doesn’t fall to his death, instead he is held up by an invisible force.
What counts is that he takes that first step.
One step is all we need to get started.
What one step is faith daring you to take today?