confessions of a scaredy-cat

a theme started emerging in december: don’t be afraid. i simply chalked it up to being a theme in the christmas story. but then i noticed it popping up in other places in my life. i realized a number of the books and movies i’d enjoyed the most this year had a theme about people taking risks, starting new, overcoming fears.

for christmas, a friend gave me julia child’s auto-biography ‘my life in france’. and once again the theme popped up. this time phrased as ‘be fearless’. of course, julia is specifically speaking to cooking and says, ‘learn how to cook–try new recipes, learn from your mistakes, be fearless, and above all have fun!’

this feels a little like a mash-up of some verses i’d like to try to embrace this year. biblically, we’re told ‘be not afraid’ quite a lot. or at least the bible characters were being told that, but i think it’s meant for us too. we’re also told to live abundantly. and i think they go hand-in-hand. it seems a little difficult to have or enjoy life abundantly if you’re scared.

i’m a scaredy-cat. scared of being hurt, hurting someone else or disappointing them. of not doing enough for others, of not doing enough for myself, of failing. and a lot of my fears have been quite practical lately: finding a job, where i’ll live when i do, finances. and my fears sometimes leave me a bit paralyzed. i spend too much time thinking, analyzing, trying to project all possible outcomes. or i’m afraid i won’t be able to do something perfectly or that i’ll fail and i miss the window of opportunity.

mike yaconelli, who i had the privilege of working with and for, is remembered as saying “jump first, fear later.” so with mike, julia and the bible behind me, my goal is to be less afraid. or at least not let my fears hold me back. i’m not really sure how this is going to work, but hopefully this post is a small step in the right direction.


3 Responses to “confessions of a scaredy-cat”

  1. 1 Len Evans 6 January, 2010 at 3:56 am

    Fear not for God is with you! Cya tonight! Looking forward to catching up.

  2. 2 Doug Barcalow 6 January, 2010 at 4:59 am

    Isn’t “be not afraid” another way of saying “have faith?” I am amazed at the number of people who choose to live their lives in fear, rather than “boldly going forward.” (BTW-another great reference of a life lived in fear is the cult classic “Strictly Ballroom.):)

  3. 3 Jon Cheatwood 6 January, 2010 at 9:00 am

    Thanks, Mindi. I’m just behind you on this trail, so it is good to read your posts from the front.

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