We are consumed and paralyzed with fear.
We buy fire insurance, life insurance, health insurance, flood insurance, pest insurance. We have people inspect our homes for radon, formaldehyde, and lead. We child proof our electrical outlets, put rails at the steps, install security systems, and use floodlights to illuminate the dark. Some people even go so far as to literally put their kid on a leash.
Wow. Is life really that bad? Kid’s on a leash?
But that’s where we find ourselves. And there’s few things more tragic than living life filled with fear.
Of course there’s no question that terrible things may happen to you. It happens every day. Your house may burn down, you may get cancer, your kid might be kidnapped. These things strike terror into our hearts, because we recognize the loss. But have you ever stopped to consider what you lose by living a life of fear?
This last week a 16 year old girl tried to sail around the world. For about 24 hours the world thought she had died. Fortunately she had just lost her mast and a French rescue ship was able to save her. You know what the headlines read the next day? Not “courageous girl is saved” or “adventurer vows to try again.” But “Questions asked of parents” and “Parents accused of risking her life.”
The world’s first reaction was to question why this girl’s parents didn’t keep her “safe.”
So let me ask you this: what’s more damaging, being told to never follow your dreams because they aren’t “safe”? Or putting it all on the line for something you believe in?
That’s one of the remarkable aspects of Christianity. We so often think of Christians as the “safe, non adventurous” types. But God calls us to be ridiculously courageous. He asks us to push the boundaries of his kingdom. To be adventurers. Or as Erwin McManus said, we should be the barbarians at the gate of civilization.
Fear is often unreasonable. We weigh things differently when we fear. How many of us are afraid to swim in the oceans because of Jaws? But you are 250 times more likely to be killed by Bambi then Jaws?
Fear can be healthy. It can prevent us from doing stupid things, like licking an iron. But it can also paralyze us and take the joy out of living. If you’re a Christian, there is no place in your life for fear. Fear drives a wedge between us and God. And it stops us from doing what needs to be done. It prevents us from running to the needy. It freezes us from helping the hurting. And it blocks us from living in the grace God has for us.
I don’t know about you, but that’s too high of a price for me to pay.
photo provided by flickr user rocketjim54