Whenever I was accepted, I feared losing it.
Fear is a Liar.
When I was a young man, I always feared being unloved.
When I finally had someone’s hand to hold I feared they’d pull it away.
Fear is a Thief.
As a married man with 6 children, I fear I am not being enough for them.
When my bride assures me that I am enough I dismiss her words and dwell instead on what I know I could be if I just tried harder.
Fear says you’re not enough.
I’d love to be able to wrap this post up with a nice, little bow of reconciliation about how I conquered fear once and for all, but that wouldn’t be honest. I think it’s always gonna’ be there in some way. 38 years and counting so far…
I think of this question often: Without fear, what kind of plot would there be in my story anyway? It certainly wouldn’t be a book worth reading!
I’ve found a bit of relief in these words:
“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”
I’m pretty certain that the best I can do today is to decide to be brave once more.
To show courage when fear whispers and take just one more shaky step forward.
And in so doing, punch Fear full in the face!
Where is fear telling you not to go?
What’s 1 step you can take toward that place today?
I think this world has good intentions. I always see positive platitudes plastered wherever I look on social media & commercials. It seems at every turn someone is trying to encourage me (maybe themselves) to ‘follow my heart’, or ‘Chase my dream’. Come to think of it I can’t recall the last time someone encouraged me to ‘Embrace Mediocrity’ or ‘Soak in the Glow of Resentment’. But this morning I heard a song and it kinda slapped me in my smile just a bit.
I’m in my second reading of Jon Acuff’s book, Start. The first time I approached it much like I would approach the first beef enchilada when I know I still have 2 left. In chapter 2 he referenced a song by John Mayer, and it is the saddest songs I’ve ever heard.
Now, we’ve all heard sad songs.
-When I was younger they centered around breakups,
-In my 20’s a sad song for me centered around some ‘system’ that was going to force me to grow up & be responsible.
-The minute I entered Fatherhood I fell apart anytime I heard a sentimental chorus involving sons, daughters or their mommy.
But now I’m on the precipice of 40 and I’m just now getting a foothold on living a life of significance. I want to matter. But here’s the catch…I don’t want to change the world alone.
‘Walt Grace’s Submarine Test, January 1967’ by John Mayer is the story of a man who had a dream. He painstakingly developed the skills to make his dream a reality. He had the perseverance and resolve to move forward towards his passionate pursuit despite the heckling crowd of naysayers.
If Walt Grace was paying any attention to social media & self help (self-hurt books??) back in 1967 he would’ve been very pleased. Encouragements of, “Keep going, Walt!”, would certainly pepper his comment section. But there is a problem.
Walt is a married man with children and spends his days just searching for silence from the ‘noise’ that has become his life. He has alienated those he loves to pursue a selfish passion full-time.
Here’s something I think we all need to do right now.
I encourage you today to identify your dream and invest a few moments on what your finish line looks like. Walt Grace made his dream a reality. He ‘Just Did it’. His chest broke the tape guarding that finish line he’d had his sights on all those years.
And he celebrated alone.