Fear as a stumbling block
This is late this evening -- I wrote it late, and then Blogger had some kind of snit, and wouldn't let me access the blog or the publishing pages. Looks like we are back in business now.
My older son goes to middle school on the top of a hill. No place in our town is very flat, but his school is high up on a pinnacle. I drive him to school at least once a week, usually more often. To get him to the door, I drive up a road which is, and I’m not exaggerating, steep. From the beginning of 6th grade, I have always dreaded driving up this hill, because sometimes, when there is a line of cars for "drop off," and I have to STOP on that hill.
Stopping is no problem. It’s the starting again, in a car with a standard transmission, and the fear that I will roll back into the car behind me. As I said, our town is full of hills, and I have been stopping and starting on them, driving cars with standard transmissions, since I was 16. I can do it; I do it all the time. For some reason, though, this hill has always been my nemesis.
Amazingly enough, this year I am getting over it. I have realized that it is the fear of rolling back, of not clutching and braking and hitting the gas with the right speed and combination of agility have caused all of my problems. This year, I’ve given up the fear of this hill, and I now stop and start with no trouble.
Are we like that? Does fear become so large that it is the fear that causes the problems? If we gave up the fear, would we give up what we are afraid of? Is it the fear that allows the consequences to happen?
There is fear that is healthy. It is good for me to be afraid of venomous snakes, of speeding on ice, and of walking in dark alleys alone. These things are dangerous, and to be afraid of them is wise.
There is, however, fear that is a stumbling block. There is fear that stops us from trusting God, from stepping out in faith. When we fear failure so much that we fail to try anything, then the fear has become the problem. When we stay standing still because we are afraid that if we take a step we will fall down, then the fear has kept us from walking down the road as much as the fall would have.
in God I trust; I will not be afraid.
I am under vows to you, O God;