Why do we do that? Apparently, I'm not the only one wondering and struggling these days. Why do we allow feeble excuses to paralyze us with fear? Especially if any part of us claims the name of Christian. There seems to be quite a bit being written and spoken about fear lately, a little word for what can be a debilitating emotion.
fear verb \ˈfir\:
to be afraid of (something or someone)
: to expect or worry about (something bad or unpleasant)
: to be afraid and worried
After years of being a big old scaredy cat, here's my hypothesis (at least it makes sense to me). Sincere, vigilant bearers of the Word tell us that we are sinners, born in sin, with a sin nature. That's an excuse waiting to happen. Of course, the Spirit-filled make that only part of the message; they also tell us about repentance, forgiveness and salvation.
If we've only heard the first part of that message, we are perfect candidates for the other, darker voice. The Apostle Peter knew about the dangers of listening to the darker voice: "Be careful—watch out for attacks from Satan, your great enemy. He prowls around like a hungry, roaring lion, looking for some victim to tear apart." (1 Peter 5:8 TLC). Peter understood how Satan could get inside our heads to plant seeds of fear and doubt that reap excuses and regret.
So, here it is: "sin nature" + me + Satan's lies = unreasonable fear. What do you think? Does that notion strike a chord? Has anyone else felt squashed by these notions?
Wow! That sounds preachy, even for me. Let's shift gears, shall we?
Starting the journey with Bobby and Bonnie seemed very exciting. Retiring to write children's books seemed....romantic, relaxing,.... but in the last few weeks the reality has set in, and some days (usually bill paying days) excuses and fear try to set in as well. Writing is fun for me! I love kids and I love Jesus! So why have I been lured by excuses into a quicksand of fear that can only lead to regret and the death of a dream?
This Monday, I put together packets to take to the local bookstores: book, introduction letter, press release, ordering information, business card. I've planned out my route, even picked out my clothes to wear. Since several stores are located near Mary's, I'm hoping just the two of us can enjoy lunch. It all sounds good.
What I'm good at is making detailed plans that dance around a task I'm dubious about. I think it's called a smokescreen, a bunch of stuff that hides what's really important.
I don't know anyone at the bookstores. Four out of five are part of chains. The purchasing may not be up to the local store manager. The manager may not be there when I go. I've never been good at sales, not since trying to sell Camp Fire Girls candy. Excuses, all excuses.
I MAY BE TURNED DOWN FLAT. Oh, there it is, the real culprit. The excuses merely paved the way for the fear of rejection. Ouch!
Have you been there, that harsh and ugly place where excuses and fear of rejection try to keep you from trying? Maybe we all have. The bigger question is, have there been times when you pushed through anyway? Honestly, I'm not sure if I've had more haves or have nots.
Then I remember doctors telling Tom and I not to try to have another baby after our first child died, then doctors telling us that Mary and James weren't going to make it. WRONG!! And I remember well meaning friends and family members asking me why I should go back to college after turning 35. Three diplomas hanging on the wall, y'all!
So what am I waiting for? As long as I'm trusting and obeying in the one who gave me the stories and the vision and the mission, what else matters? Come on, all you Peters, Daniels, Esthers, Davids, let's go!
12 We have all these great people around us as examples. Their lives tell us what faith means. So we, too, should run the race that is before us and never quit. We should remove from our lives anything that would slow us down and the sin that so often makes us fall.