Face Your Fears
Life is an especially high - risk proposition. The stakes are extremely high. Total happiness or complete heartbreak is often a matter of difference in a step, a turn of a head, or an offhand decision. Misery may suddenly break upon our heads out of nowhere. We may display moments of confidence for one another, occasional acts of bravado, but is only the dishonest who never admit to fear in their lives. I believe that all of us dwell somewhere between comfortable security and fearful anxiety.
When we do meet with uncertainty, deep feelings of fear may arise. A full stomach may not please us today if we are not sure of tomorrows meal. but even in times of relative security, we can never forget how frail the heart is in the person we love most, how limited is our time together. We can never forget in our time of relative confidence how little we know, how prone we are to error. One philosopher said, "Man is but a reed - the weakest thing in nature...It is not necessary that the whole world should arm itself to crush him. A vapor, a drop of water is enough to kill him."
When life does have its terrifying moments, how do we survive them?
Eleanor Roosevelt said, "You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing which comes along." The real danger in our lives lies in refusing to face fear, in not daring to come to grips with it. If you fail anywhere along the line, it will take your confidence. You must do the thing you cannot do.
When we run away from those things that cause us fear, we learn to shrink from life, always waiting for the blows which then come. We wind up with a thousand troubles - most of them imaginary. But when we face our fears head on, a strange thing happens. When we don't shrink, our fears do. They become manageable, less horrible, less fearful. In fact, if you face your fears, your fears become your teacher, teaching us in a marvelous way our strengths, our resiliency, our ability to look anything in the face and say, "I will not let you beat me."
Bit by bit, as we face our fears instead of fleeing before them, we learn that fact that Franklin Roosevelt reminded us of when our national security was threatened with the start of World War II, "We have nothing to fear but fear itself."
It is then we become a model of our Lord who faced His eminent death and prayed, "If it be your will, please take this cup of suffering from me, nevertheless not my will but yours be done."
Rev. Hans Lillejord