Fear is a funny thing. Did you know that more people fear what might happen more than what is certain to happen? Fear over the unknown affects mental health in millions of individuals every day. Because of this contrived fear, we have a tendency to tiptoe around playing it safe to avoid potential negative outcomes.
Have you opted out of vacations for fear of not coming home? Have you ever declined invitations for fear of what someone might say to you or about you? Have you been given a chance to do something fun, but decided you would sit it out instead of taking a chance of getting hurt? This is what I call landmine living. Maneuvering your life around what could be lurking under the surface for fear it could explode at any moment…that is landmine living.
The hard truth is no matter how strategically you tiptoe through life, eventually there will be an explosion. Engaging or not engaging in the things that make life full have little to do with sudden unexpected circumstances. For everyone, we experience a time where one minute everything is normal and the next minute, nothing will ever be the same again.
“When I am afraid, I put my trust in You. In God, whose word I praise – in God I trust. I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?” Psalm 56:3-4. When I am tempted to sit on the bench and shrink away from all this life has to offer, I remind myself of this scripture. I will not be afraid because God is with me, always. That means if something should go wrong, he will be right there with me. He even has the power to use unfortunate events for my good and for his glory.
My Mama has always embraced life with gusto. I once found a shirt that I knew she would wear until it had holes in it. It said, “If I die, make it look like I was doing something cool.” I have always admired that approach to life. It is an attitude I have tried to adopt. I want my children to be unafraid to go places, meet people and walk through doors of opportunity when they appear. As parents we can project landmine living onto our kids without even realizing it, causing them to fear as well. Keeping your children away from activities with friends, sports and things they desire to do because of what might happen will perpetuate fear.
Not being afraid looks a lot like living life without reservation. ‘Do not fear’ looks like having courage to do things you may not be totally comfortable with. Has something been tugging at you that you really want to do or feel called to do? Living without fear is taking that step no matter what the outcome may be. You don’t have to continue landmine living when you can live freely, trusting God with anything that may happen. So follow God’s command and “do not fear”, but live life to the fullest! You only live once.