My next three or four blog entries will be about what I have learned in 2011. You may have heard these before, maybe learned them the hard way, or maybe they never came across your path. I just feel moved to share them with you.
Driven by Fear;
Spinning in Circles…
Chances are, if you live a life driven by fear, you often find yourself spinning in circles. It’s like one big NASCAR race going lap after lap – against yourself.
I once heard someone say that fear is an ineffective motivator that never leads to accomplishing anything. While I don’t wholeheartedly agree with this statement, I understand the thoughts behind it.
Fear is a fickle motivator. When acting out of fear, you may not attain desired results, if action is made at all. Fear does more binding than loosing, and keeps us from reaching full potential.
I know this from my own life – driven by anxiety. My life has growth. On the outside I project that I have everything together, but beneath the surface is so much fear. It is only when I can work over – or more often in spite of – my fear that I am able to make any real movement forward.
Since leaving my job almost a month ago (and even before), I have filled out so many job applications. With each one, a prick of fear occurs.
What if they don’t want me?
What if I get called to interview?
Can I actually do any of these jobs?
What if I just get stuck in a life I hate?
Many days these questions, and the fear that inspires them, hold me back from reaching my full potential. For the job applications, this means allowing some to fall through my fingers. Though, I have filled out too many to count by overcoming the fear, I could have put many more out there.
Another area where I see this is my 5 year book project. Though my book is finally almost complete and ready for publication, I have been dragging my feet with editing the last chapters because I fear the reaction.
Will people like my book?
What if no one wants to read it?
What if it offends someone?
What if everyone hates it?
Whether looking back or forward, this one question pretext can hold us back from so much. Whether dwelling on what we did or didn’t do or fearing what may happen, “What if…” can ruin you and hold you back from everything.
When we act out of fear, we are not thinking clearly and it is nearly impossible to make the right decision. That is why we must give our anxieties over to the One who calms the storm. Sometimes I get so distracted by the wind and waves around me, I forget that I do know the One who calms the storm, and that He is able to calm my beating heart (Matthew 8:23-27).
Lucky for us, He sent someone to set us free. We don’t have to live controlled by anxiety and fear. We can have a life devoted to Him as our motivation. This time of year it is especially easy to remember who He sent to us: Christ, His Son, to live a life as we lived. He had temptations, frustrations, and hurts. But, He knew who His Father was, and never let life get the best of Him. He only succumbed to the Will of GOD, which was to Redeem Us.
“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not again let yourselves be burdened by a yoke of slavery.” -Gal. 5:1
So, I have learned, if I want my life to move forward, I must not be driven by fear. I must find rest and freedom in Christ, and be driven by the will of God. How to do that?
Read. His word. Get to know Him. In knowing Him, you learn what He cares about, and what He cares about is YOU (and me).
Pray. Spending time with Him allows you a chance to listen for Him and know Him better.
Reflect. On what He has done for you. On His words to you. On the gift and blessings He has given, as well as the troubles He has brought you through.
In my next post I will be talking about why it’s important to Take the Risk.