I am 5 feet 9 nine inches. Throughout my entire life people have seen my height and inquired as to whether I played sports- specifically. Basketball- or not. I would smile knowingly and say, “no, I never played any sports.” It was just assumed that tall people must be athletic and the G.O.A.T. when it comes to sports. I kinda feel bad for never living up to their assumptions. Kinda, but not really…
Truth is, I don’t know if I would ever be good at basketball. I know I never played any sports because my mom always wanted me to come straight home after school. She was [understandably] very protective of me and if it wasn’t happening at church, then I was not attending it. At. All. And I think as I got older, I never pursued any sport because I feared that I would be horrible at it.
My therapy sessions are causing me to become quite introspective and I find myself thinking more than usual (I know, hard to imagine). As I sit here at my desk typing, all I can think of is how much I am missing out on in life because I don’t even dare to try. Aside from my embarrassing moments in school with sports in Physical Education class, I’ve never tried sports so, who knows, I might actually be a good player… but fear has stopped me.
We’ve heard of FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) but I want to introduce you to FoT (Fear of Trying).
Did you ever watch the movie Coach Carter? I love Samuel L. Jackson. In my mind he can do no wrong. He is loud, profane, an acting force to reckon with- and I just love him! Well, in this movie Sam (that’s what he used to go by) played a basketball coach at an inner-city school in California and dared his students to be greater than they could imagine. He was a graduate of the school and knew that greatness could come from them because he, too, sat in those seats and matriculated through that school. His desire for more than athletic greatness from his players caused many people to dislike him. In the end, he pushed the children athletically and academically… and they succeeded in both areas. What I love most about this movie is that Coach Carter kept asking the students, “what is your greatest fear?” I remember thinking “snakes” when I watched this movie the first time because that was my greatest fear, but as it turns out, Coach Carter was asking something deeper than they (or I) could comprehend.
So, I ask you today, Beloved: What is your greatest fear?
Marianne Williamson answered this question perfectly with her renowned poem entitled, “Our Greatest Fear” and I encourage you to hear it with your whole heart.
This poem by Marianne was not the exact words spoken by the student in the movie, but it is a truth that my heart recalls today. For years I have been afraid to do what was not familiar to me… but I truly didn’t know why. As I walk further with God, I am realizing that my biggest fear is, as Marianne mentions, is succeeding more than I could ever imagine. I don’t know why, but that terrifies me.
If I’m being honest, this message will not be an inspirational message like the other posts. Today I am sitting next to you, holding your hand, and trying to understand all that is happening just as you are. Accepting the truth that God has big plans for me, because He is a big God, is hard. It is hard to accept that not only was my victory predestined before my birth, but also my success in all areas of my life.
Victory: achievement of mastery or success in a struggle or endeavor against odds or difficulties
Success: favorable or desired outcome
Both words are nouns but their definitions vary a small, but significant way and here’s the difference: success is when we get the good outcome that we desired and victory is when we overcome something where the odds were against us. I can succeed in my academic career, but I have victory when I succeed academically, despite many learning disabilities. I can succeed in buying a house, but I have victory when I buy that house despite credit score and financial battles. I can succeed in losing weight, but I have victory when I face and defeat those circumstances that led to my weight gain.
See the difference?
What I love about God is that His Word says that we are “more than conquerors”. That means that we not only succeed in Him, but we also have victory because we achieve everything despite the obstacles that faced us.
So why do I have FoT?
I know that with God, I have victory in everything that I do so I’m learning that my true fear is letting go of what I thought was best for my life… and truly trusting God. That’s my greatest fear- letting go of M.E. I am afraid that if I truly “let go and let God” that I will have to change my whole entire life and let go of the things and life that I love. And there’s the truth, sometimes I love my life and lifestyle more than I love my God. Please forgive me, Lord.
As I bring this post to an end, I am leaving my fears here. I have decided to embrace the unknown of life, knowing that God knows and He is more than willing and able to lead me through until I return home to Him.
No, no; fear is not welcome here.