Saturday, March 27, 2010

Our limiting fears

Alright. This post comes to you from a very different place in my heart. Rather than that spot that is full of hope and adventure, this is the place where my utmost fears exist. 

I am afraid of many things. Heights, clowns, bad grades, lice, dead animals, bears, tornadoes, etc.

But there is one fear in my life that really debilitates me. And that is my fear of driving. I have been afraid of driving for most of my life. I was not your typical 16 year old who begs their parents to let them drive around the block. Nuhuh. My parents had to force me to get behind the wheel. Thus, I didn't succeed in getting my driver's license until I was 20 years old. And even then, I still hated driving. Eventually, I learned to enjoy a drive in sunny Tulsa, all by myself, in our cute little moon harvest bug. It was exhilarating to turn my music to moderate volume and roll down the windows, to drive myself somewhere. 

But then, I would leave Tulsa and would not drive until I returned again. And once again, that fear had time to fester, and I had enough time to forget that I knew what I was doing. I had enough dreams of crashing and driving in the wrong lane to convince myself that I did not know how to drive. And so, driving no longer contained that thrill, but rather this pestering shake that told me I was not going to make it from point A to point B without doing something wrong. And so what happens, well I run a red light, I forget to stop at a stop sign, I cut in front of someone, I try to turn the wrong way down a one way, or I get lost. Basically, I would fail. Because to me, I can't make a mistake. A mistake means that I don't know what I am doing. It means that I am a hazard to the roads and should not be allowed on them. It means that I am incompetent and my fear is adequate. 

But. I've never gotten near a crash. I have never been pulled over. I don't speed. I follow the traffic laws. I forbid use of my cellular device. I veer on the side of way over cautious. I never remove either hand from the wheel. I pay attention. 

What is fear? It is something that gets in our heads and prevents us from truly living. 

Today I am spending a luxurious day at Roommate Cousin's Aunt's house. They are away on a cruise (and no, they didn't ask me to go with). So we are here enjoying their home and their food. Well, I carelessly forgot my computer cord at Apt. With only about three hours of battery life, that was not going to cut it. So, I had to drive myself back to Apt. And today — I knew — that I had to drive myself. And so I did. Of course the whole time my heart was beating a little too fast, my blood flowing with excess adrenaline, and a subtle nervous shake manifested itself in my hands. But, I made it there. Without making a major mistake. Yes, I probably aggravated 5/6ths of the other road runners, but regardless, I took my time and I did it. 

Today I did not let my fear win. And this is not to say that I love driving. Because, some of us were just not born to feel that way. And driving is scary. But, it is also sometimes necessary. 

I am trying to search for some deep rooted message here. Perhaps to say, don't let your fears limit you. Don't let them hold you captive like a bird in a cage. Let those wings spread. Go ahead and fly.

But after rereading this post, it appears that claiming my fear is of driving is false. My fear is of failing, it is of making mistakes. I hate to make a mistake, because that proves I am not infallible. And making a mistake means that people have something to critique. I really, really hate to be critiqued. 

And there it is. The real fear. Critique. 

And here is the real lesson. We are not living for other people's joy and pleasure. We are living for ourselves and for God. God is not frowning on us when we make a wrong turn or forget to put the eggs in the cookies. He loves us for our successes and our failures.
He loves us for living.
God could have made us perfect people if He wanted to, but obviously, He chose not to.
And I just have to learn to be okay with that. 
Because, I am not a good driver. And I probably will never be a great driver. But, that is okay. Because I can drive. And that is what truly matters.
It is not about being the best, it is about doing your best. 
And not about listening to the people honking behind you, but to that voice that says,
"I am with you, and you are going to be okay."

1 comment:

  1. Words to live by: It is not about being the best, it is about doing your best.

    When are you and Kelly coming to visit?!?!


Questions? Comments? Snide remarks?