“Everything you’ve ever wanted is on the other side of fear.” ~ George Addair
I have seen people in multiple casts and barely able to move. Yet, somehow, they manage to do so. I have seen people strapped down in beds or tied securely in chairs. They often manage to get themselves free. I have seen people prevented from doing many things yet, nonetheless, achieving them. Those physical constraints are nothing compared to fear. I have seen people immobilized by fear and never really able to shake it.
Because of fear, some people never venture from home. They cannot seem to leave the confines of the environment that they have deemed as “safe”. Some people have never given a speech because fear of making a fool of themselves keeps them from going in front of people. Fear, in many ways, is the true and ultimate immobilizer.
I am sure that we have all faced that, at least early on in our lives. How many times did we wake up hearing something in our room or in the house and becoming so frightened that we could not move? We could not even speak.
“Everything you’ve ever wanted is on the other side of fear.” That does not seem very comforting. It is, however, true. We need to face our fears if we are going to have the chance to become better in life. One of the reasons that I have counted myself fortunate to have been a priest at parishes with schools is that I have seen and been inspired over and over again by boys and girls who have had to face their fears, who have done so, and who have succeeded if not excelled.
When someone faces a fear, looks it in the eye, and walks past it, that is a moment that one does not soon forget. Doing so fuels the person to face even greater fears and make even greater successes. I have seen children afraid to speak in front of others get out on the stage and take starring roles. I have seen children afraid of making mistakes in front of others go on to excel at Math bowls, spelling bees, and other competitions. They have all proven that we have it within ourselves to overcome our fears.
Some people fear to live their faith to the fullest. They are anxious about being around sick people so they will not visit the sick or shut-in. They are afraid of public speaking, so they will not become lectors. They are afraid of God’s wrath, so they spend little time getting to know Him in prayer. God is not the least bit frightening. He is full of love and He gives us the gift of courage if we ask for it. It is no coincidence that courage is one of the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit. God knows that it is required for our lives.
Be not afraid, then. Face your fears. Ask God to walk with you as you step out in courage.
FAITH ACTION: Ask God for the courage you need to face your fears today and then step out in faith. He will be with you.