Monday, June 27, 2011
Nothing to Fear but Fear itself
About 7 years ago I took a pottery class at the Nashville Art House. It was so much fun getting my hands in that clay, and just letting myself be creative. I made several clay "boxes" and was trying to think of a theme for them. So I thought to myself: If God could talk to me through this clay, what would He say?
The first one said "Dream BIG" the other simply said "LOVE" and the third said, "Why do you fear failure?"
The third was my favorite. Mainly because this is a concept that I have dealt with every since I can remember.
I have an early memory of sitting in my mother's car while she ran an errand, crying my eyes out because I was convinced I would never pass the 4th grade, it was just too hard. Even though I had no problems getting through the 3rd grade, I was just so afraid. I have an even earlier memory (around the age of 5) of wanting so desperately to play soccer. My mother signed me up for a community team, and when we arrived I sat in her lap crying, asking to go home. I was afraid that I wouldn't be any good. And if I didn't try, I wouldn't fail. Right?
So what do we fear exactly? We fear failure. Rejection.
As I grew into a teenager, I also grew quite a rebellious streak. It was as if I was so rebellious, I was even going to rebel against myself. Although fear was still on the forefront of my mind as I would venture into new things, if I felt fear, I would push myself right into whatever I was afraid of. This of course wasn't the best idea, especially in my teenage years.
When I experienced the Grace Message for the first time 4 years ago my fear went through another transformation...
All of a sudden it wasn't about me anymore. My failures were no longer the issue. I could completely, utterly, and spectacularly fail and it didn't matter. Because Jesus didn't. In fact when I embraced that I could not please God through my own accomplishments, it freed me to be beautifully loved in a way I didn't think possible. And amazingly it was that Love that enabled me to fail less. I still fail. Oh yes, and it is sometimes pretty ridiculous. But after those failures I can get right back up, instead of living in shame, guilt, and condemnation; waiting for the moment "I" did enough to "feel" close to God again. The separation I thought was there through my actions is gone. And it allows me to run to the Arms of Love.
Fear is still there. Sometimes trying to pull me back. But I will not be ruled by it.
"...it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me..."