Sunday, April 25, 2010


Friday Night...

The pool at the YMCA closes 10:30 pm on a weeknight. I left my house at10 pm.  This wasn't the first time I left so late.  Sure I could have gone earlier....I procrastinated.

For the past few weeks, I had been discerning about letting all things go for Christ.  I hadn't thought and felt like this since the last time I prayed and seek guidance before going to Seminary.  

I had been keeping a list of my fears.  Why am I so hesitant to go?

With what I've seen lately...Ratanak, International Justice Mission...the need is great.  My heart is trouble...

What's holding me back?

Emotion is a funny thing.  It is not straight forward.  It is not like fixing a car.  You hear a noise.  You diagnose the problem.  Get the right parts.  Fix it...done. 

Emotions take more time.  Especially dealing with fear. 

It is having the insight to spot the invisible.  To see it not with our eyes but with out heart.  To discern and dissect with the head.  And have the courage and the boldness to not put it away and focus at it....even at times it hurts.  Even at times it keeps running away.

There are two kinds of fear.  The first is the simple one. The surface level fear.  One that I can feel and I can grasp.    

The second one is much darker.  I can't spot it.  But I can sense it.  Something is there and it doesn't feel right.  This one slithers in and out.  Between consciousness and unconsciousness.  I never see the head.  I always see the tail as it slips away back in my mind. 

As I drove down to the Y, I had a glimpse of the darker fear.  

Why? Why? Why?  Why such doubt and hesitation?

Then I saw the tail.  I took hold of it.  Quickly.....

I didn't swim in the pool.  I stood in the shower.  Letting the warm water coming down.  Trying to make sense of it all.

There are many fears and concerns...of all of them, nothing is strong than this one.  This is the fear of what others will think of me. To gain their approval.  

I known this fear since growing up.  I remembered the need to always act like the person I am not to be part of the crowd.  To not feel like no one will be with me.  To not feel alone.  I once stole a calculator from one friend and gave to another just so I could maintain the friendship.  (I later got caught and was suspended from school for a few days.  That friendship did not last).

This is the same fear that is springing back.  

Triathlon had been my life for five years. It is what I am known for.  My identity.  

My fear is that if I pursuit what God is calling me to do, will others believe in me?  What will my friends think? Will they not understand me?  What if they don't believe me?  What if my family don't believe me?  Will they think I am joking? What if no one take me seriously?  How do I prove to others that I am serious...

Prove to others...

I stopped.  

Why?  Why should I need to prove to others?

This is the root fear. It is the over compassing fear that is clouding my mind.  Sapping my energy.  

And I smile...I reminded myself...

My identity is found in Christ.  And His approval is not relate to what I have done or what I will do.   There is only One Audience that I seek....

I hold it by its tail and stared at it.  It tries to wiggle away from me.   I smile and let it go.  

I let it go because I am reminded of my new identity.  I am coheir with an ever lasting King.  The one that soars like an eagle.  

My identity is not rooted in me or from others. And nor my own fear  can take that away from me.


William said...

Wow Cliff, I love this post so much. It really speaks to me as I feel the same way.

Letting go of 'people pleasing' is hard and it is a tight cage we don't even realize we are in.

Tara said...

Sounds like your letting Go and letting God control your life, it can be scary but usually the best adventure ever. Congrats on all your adventures in the last five years and may God guide you on His wild adventure.

My new quote I like
" Then the time came when the risk it took to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom." - Anais Nin


Wai Jia said...

This is a beautiful post, one I'm sure many people can relate to, Cliff... Maybe it's because we put our security in men that we value their opinion of us so much- something i do very often myself. Thanks for sharing yr journey :)

Anonymous said...

God allows such fear to cloud your eyes because He wants you to lay them all down at His feet and let Him take those fears into action ... wait and listen, wait and listen! :)