I’m going to be very vulnerable and share some things that I am afraid of with all of you today. I’m going to ask that you be gracious and understanding… so here goes.
1st confession… I’m afraid of bees. Here’s my bee story:
A few weeks ago I was leaving the Mesa campus after the 10:45 service. I was walking through the parking lot while glancing at my phone to see if I had missed any calls/texts, etc. While looking at my phone I heard a massive buzzing sound, it was unbelievable to hear. I looked up to realize that I had walked into a swarm of bees in the parking lot. With no regard to who was around and how many people may be around, I shrieked at the top of my lungs, started running and doing ninja/dance like moves to make sure they weren’t on me or following which I was certain they were (but I’m pretty sure they weren’t). I apologize to everyone that was in my surrounding area and had to endure my reaction. I immediately called our facilities team to report the dreaded swarm and raced home. Because I come to Church early for sound checks/rehearsals, my husband and kids drive separately. When I raced home to tell them what I had just lived through, my daughter anxiously asked…
”Mommy, how many times were you stung?”
But that really wasn’t the point of my story, the point was that bees are terrifying and somehow I lived another day to tell about… When I explained that point…she was like
“Well I’ve been stung five times in my life and I don’t think it’s that bad, have you never been stung in your whole life?”
Me: “Yes, I’ve been stung once in High School.”
Me: “It hurt”
Her: “Were you allergic? Did you have a really bad reaction?”
Timeout in the story. You see, my daughter isn’t being facetious, she is legitimately trying to figure out why I’m so afraid. She is 9 years old. Time-in.
Me: No, I’m not allergic; it just hurt and it got me out of going back to PE.
The truth is sometimes bees sting and sometimes they don’t and I look pretty ridiculous when I react like they will always sting me. The people with me in the parking lot the other day know that is true.
Confession #2… I’m afraid of sharks. Here’s my shark story:
But you see that’s the thing, I don’t have a shark encounter story. I have movies I watched growing up & shark/minnow swimming pool games that have created a fear in me. I legitimately get afraid of any deep/dark water and think somehow, someway a shark will figure out a way to find me in it. Ocean – ridiculously possible… Lake – still possible… River- yet again, still possible… sometimes the deep end of a pool gives me the heebie-jeebies.
The truth is sometimes sharks bite and sometimes they don’t. But I miss out on a lot of great experiences because I’m too afraid to go in the water.
So I’ve been thinking about fear and how it affects how I react and how it can hinder me. There is a great quote from the book The Art of Neighboring and it says this:
“Fear has a way of distorting our perspective”
That is the truth for sure for me as you can see from my stories above. But, it’s not just bees & sharks that I’m afraid of… I’m afraid of other things. Neighboring is scary for me; I’m shy (offstage) and talking to neighbors, strangers, even people I know can produce a fear of being awkward, stumbling over my words, saying something silly, etc. The main theme in all of that is me… me feeling that way when really the people around me just need to know they are cared about and loved and I have to face that fear knowing that there is more to life than me. Cal shared a message on being braving and taking risks this past weekend. He challenged all of us when he said:
What would it look for us NOT to be afraid to be what Christ asked us to be?
For me…it looks like this. Sunday night, I walked my neighborhood and spoke to several neighbors, it had been so long since I had spoken to one neighbor she didn’t even recognize me when I came up and said hello, we had a nice chat. Yesterday we hosted a summer fun swim party for our neighborhood kids. My daughter wrote invitations and hand delivered them, we went to the store and bought snacks & lemonade and several kids came! I am facing my fears…well I’m neighboring… no promises on getting in the ocean… yet.
What are you afraid of? Is that fear distorting your perspective? What would it look like if you were NOT afraid to be or do what Christ has asked you to?