I was scared of the ball. I was scared of the pain the ball caused when it hit me. I was scared of getting hit because little league pitchers (back in the day where I came from) thought that anything within three feet of the plate was accurate pitching. I thought it was another form of dodge ball–a smaller ball at higher velocity and a shorter distance to lock on to the pain inducing item. I wasn’t a good hitter but I was good at dodging (even when they were strikes.) I quit baseball after little league because I knew they threw harder in the upper leagues. In case you don’t read between the lines, I don’t like pain and don’t put myself intentionally in a position where pain can occur. And that’s my problem.
I don’t like that I have a big fear complex. It has invaded pretty much every facet of my life and I’ve been dismantling it now for some time. I found a quote about three years ago that rocked my world and put things in perspective. I’m sure you’ve seen it, the “man in the arena” quote found in a speech by Teddy Roosevelt given in Paris in 1910.
Give it a read:
It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.
I’m tired of being a spectator. I’m tired (and guilty and feel faithless) of sitting in the bleachers or on the bench watching others engage in life. This is part of my motivation for the blog. This blog removes another brick in that “fear house,” but I feel compelled to climb into the arena and try to reach out to people and fellow ministers who struggle with personal and faith issues in ministry. I don’t have all the answers, I’m just now feeling like I know some of the question. I’m not an expert, but I do have the passion of helping others to be the most spiritually healthy they can be as they serve the Lord. So here I am. Only God knows my future, but I am determined I am not going to greet it sitting on the bench. As God is my witness and Savior. I will strive to glorify him.
What about you? What have you been afraid to do? Let me know.
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” Deut. 31:6
P.S. I bet I caused you to hear Credence Clearwater Revival, didn’t I?