We recently went to the doctor for a yearly check up and found out my cholesterol is pretty high. This is cause for concern because I have a family history of heart disease. We talk a lot on the blog about perseverance and perspective. But I have to confess, the news scared me a little.
Fear has a way of feeding on itself. It becomes a sort of cannibal. You think giving it attention would deteriorate it, but it seems to make it worse.
I think all of us are a little scared. Sometimes circumstances just give us an excuse. Sometimes things like a bad performance review or cholesterol or a fight with our spouse allows us to thumbtack a circumstance to the general feeling of uncertainty that hovers over us.
Fear as a Teacher
The spiral of what-happens-if-I-have-a-
I’m not sure any of us will ever feel completely content about dying, but there is a sense in which fear invites us to take inventory. Am I living a vision I truly believe in? Have I upheld the values I claim to uphold? There could always be more time. If we’re living a victorious life, we’d always want more time to live it. But if it had to end, could I be thankful for what I’ve done? For who I am?
We waste so much time in this life. And fear has a way of testing us. Some will let the fear feed on itself until it derails us from our vision. Some will have their fear lead to an epiphany they need to do better. And some may be reminded of what they have to be thankful for, the life they are living.
Welcome to Reality
Bad news has a way of snapping us back to reality. The brevity of life. The changes we need to make. The things we have to be thankful for. The opportunities in front of us.
We’re all searching for life to be easy. What we really need is for life to be real. Meaning, we need a true perspective about who we are, what is going on, and how those two things can interact most effectively.
It is ok to be a little afraid. That is the only way we can be bold. The only way to be brave. Courage is not the absence of fear; it is acting truly in the face of it. Perfect love “casts off” fear; it doesn’t avoid it. Love sees fear for what it is and moves along toward the vision established. I hope to do the same and invite you to as well.