I am reading a phenomenal book right now. It’s one of those life-changing, perspective altering books. There are chapters that have made me weep. I am thinking about the story that I am living. Am I really impacting the world around me? Or am I just going through the motions that make it seem like I’m making an impact.
I have always been afraid to take risks. Always. I remember being with my cousins and my sister at our grandmother’s farm when I was a kid. We were running through the fields, exploring all the fun that the farm had to offer four kids from the city, and came to a stream. One-by-one they all leaped over the tiny stream. I stood at the edge of the water and froze. I was afraid that I wouldn’t make it. Mind you, it was probably 2 1/2 ft wide and 3 inches deep, I was afraid. Perhaps I was just afraid of the possibility of being humiliated if I didn’t make the jump. Perhaps my 7 year old brain was imagining that I would be swept away in the “current”. I just froze. My cousins and sister were yelling, “Come on, Tia! Come on! Let’s go!” With tears in my eyes, I turned and ran back to the farmhouse.
What a wimp.
Seriously? Where does that kind of irrational fear come from? I am not sure just yet. But I know that it still exists within me. Now it comes in the form of changes that require me to do things differently. Changes that require me to be uncomfortable. For many months I have been questioning my job. I know that I question it because I can see that ministry is going in a direction that will require me to change. Not only change how I operate, but change my perspective. And frankly, that just scares the crap out of me.
This weekend I went on a trip with a bunch of high school kids. One of my very favorite sophomore dudes asked me, “Tia, haven’t you been hang gliding?”
Me: “Uhmmm… no. Never. Wouldn’t even think of it.”
Dude: (with very puzzled look) “Oh, I thought you said you did stuff like that.”
Me: “Sorry, man. I’m afraid of everything.”
He thought I could do it. He thought maybe I had the guts. But I am the girl who is afraid to take the leap. Even if the consequences are really not such a big deal (unlike hang gliding!). I don’t really want to be that girl anymore. I’m wondering what it will take for me to make the first leap.