There is that moment when we have to make a decision to either go for it, or sit back.
That moment when we allow ourselves to rest comfortably in what we know or strike out into the unknown.
John Paul II was fond of saying “be not afraid.”
So was the Bible.
Why is it so difficult to live that phrase? What are we missing in our lives that leaves us paralyzed whenever fear enters the picture? Usually it is some type of trust. I don’t know that the great martyrs did not experience fear when they were facing certain death and torture. I don’t know that their heart didn’t race, the adrenaline didn’t pump, and there wasn’t some part of their mind that was screaming out for them to just toss it all in.
Unlike me, they didn’t allow the fear to control how they were going to react. The more that I interact with Churches and beaurocracies, the more I understand that most of the time we are functioning out of fear, even if it is subconscious.
We hedge our bets on ministry events because we don’t want to commit to really big numbers in case people don’t show up.
We don’t challenge the people we minister to because we are afraid that they are going to run away and we are going to have to report to our bosses that we don’t have the numbers we thought we did.
The less you rock the boat, the more successful you are probably going to be. Sure there are those “Mark Cuban” types who can buck the system, but that isn’t the norm. Most of us are dead afraid to say what is truly on our minds, to take the type of risks that we know we believe in because if it doesn’t work out we could lose what little footing we have.
Unfortunately here is the news: you have no footing.
The instant you allow your fear to rule your decisions, you lost your authority to have any type of footing. Simply because fear is not of God.
Ask yourself this:
- When was the last time you did the right thing despite your fear and regretted it? Really truly regretted it in the long run?
- How much of your fear has been based on the fact that you are used to the mediocre, mundane, unchallenging way of life and you simply are not prepared for the awesomely extraordinary God to wreck your life?
- Name one instance where you have gone through suffering, pain, anguish, enduring the consequences of a mistake without coming through it a better, wiser, and probably holier person.
- If it cannot strip you of heaven, what is the worst that could happen?
Today is the day you look fear in the face and pray the prayer of St. Michael. Today is the day you allow Christ to give you the Grace to be awesomely holy. To be extraordinary in what you do. Today is the day you give everything you are to those around you in love because you will never have another chance at these moments that go by.
Stop being afraid of breaking out of the mediocre.
Let your life be wrecked.
Let God topple your fears.
Be not afraid.