What Are We Feeding Our Fears?
Have you ever taken a gel cap? They're normally meant to ease the pain of a headache or a cold. They have this nice smooth coating that just slides down. Well, there is something far different between a gel-cap and a multi vitamin. Multi vitamins are usually very large, chalky, ridged edges and go down like a coke can. I can always feel just where it is in my throat. Multi vitamins serve the body from a more internal and deeper level than a cold medicine ever could. A gel cap masks the pain of problem without ever addressing the root of the issue. The vitamin, however, moves at a preventive level feeding those low levels of immunity that ultimately keep the body well.
A multi vitamin is much like the book I am currently reading... a horse pill if you will. It is revealing an unknown low immunity from deep within. I expected a fru-fru flowery 'you can do it because Jesus loves you' bit, that goes down much like a gel cap - nice and smooth. Not happenin'! Erwin McManus' book,The Artisan Soul, has challenged me in a lot of unexpected ways. So much so, that I can feel its slow and noticeable decent... However uncomfortable, it is serving my soul much better than a 'you can do it' book. It has called me deeper into my relationship with Jesus and pressed on certain areas that need attention. It has uncovered the motive, or lack there of, for in-completion and what causes my hopes & dreams to stall out.
In the past I've had ideas that I've dismissed and discounted before ever truly beginning. Some, I'll admit, were far fetched, while others were very much attainable with some grit. Still I have big dreams. When I think logically about them, and my skill set, with Jesus & hard work, I could do them. So why do I sit on the ledge, going back and forth about the plunge? I, like most, cling desperately to the safety of what I know. Ultimately, I feed the fear what it craves most, rather than feeding the spirit of fearlessness that my heavenly Father so carefully placed within me before day one Psalm 139:16 & 2 Tim 1:7. Instead, I ravage on the empty calories of past hurts rather than the life of His truth. Why??
In chapter 2, it hit me hard. The realization of why I quit while I'm ahead (or think I am), or don't even begin at all. One of my biggest regrets in life is not finishing the things I have begun. I've got a long list of undone tasks, dreams, you name it. Not finishing that sport, that project, that___________ (fill in the blank). But what I'm most guilty of is not even reaching! Now I know that the Bible says His grace is sufficient and you may be thinking, 'cut yourself some slack', but stick with me.
The author so eloquently speaks about a basketball analogy, that I am not going to even try to relay, but the take-away comes down to this. The reason why most settle or don't even reach at all, is because somewhere along the line someone told them they were too small or not good enough. Not just that, but that you believed it in your inner most being and gave it the ultimate authority.
That right there, for me, was a huge awakening. I can recall many people and instances (Disclaimer : Not my family - they were wonderful), like most of us can - teachers and peers that made me and you feel small. But get this - Most importantly, I am (we are) to blame because I chose to place more value on those statements, rather than the statements that my God spoke and still speaks over me. I was ignorantly feeding the fear within me a high protein diet with a side of HGH!
In that moment I paused, and got the cry cries, because I've allowed fear to hulk out under the radar. Not only that, but I've allowed opportunities to live in my God given purposes pass me by. That grieves me deeply. I've allowed fear to stall me for years with damaging cyclical thought behaviors. What if I am not good enough or what if I don't have what it takes? What if I fail and embarrass myself in the process? What if it's not received well? And the biggest one being : What will they think of me?
I know I am not the only one gasping for air on the hamster wheel...
I'll admit, even as I write this - there is a fear to hit 'publish' because what if those reading my very words.... ? What people have you given more power to? What lies are you currently believing and allowing to regenerate? Do we even have an accurate picture of the true God of the Bible? So many hard questions to challenge our hearts with.
Jesus is beginning to unravel some double knots of my heart strings. I wasn't even aware that I had those tangles!?!?!? I know that Im about to do some serious cliff jumping in the future once Jesus has sorted some things out. "Cliff jumping" was originally intended as a metaphor, but when I think about it, if I'm giving fear the pink slip... then why not??