Worlds of Fun was Worlds of Not-Fun for me as a kid. A bit of a chicken, the roller-coasters terrified me and left me green. I knew this, but not going along with friends, who always ran to get in line, was even scarier. So I went, got scared, rode the rides, felt like crap inside, and put on my best middle school I’m-just-like-everybody-else face.
Trips to Worlds of Fun made my heart ache. A friend of mine just sent me a note card that reads, “Do something every day that makes your heart sing.” The words and graphics were so nice I framed it, but walking by it repeatedly, the sentence seems slightly sinister. I love having DONE something that makes my heart sing–but DOING something that makes my heart sing always comes with a snarky friend who wasn’t invited: fear.
Roller coasters are fun. As an adult I enjoy them, but as a kid they left me short of breath and squirmy. Pushing through the fear brought me to some heart-singing thrills. Writing is that way for me. I love having written, but sitting down to write can feel similar to a roller-coaster car clicking up and up and up a steep incline. Past experience tells me that there’s joy on the other side, but even with more and more practice, it’s still tough to push through that fear that says with a hand on its hip, “You don’t really have anything to say. Who do you think you are any way? No one is going to read this.”
In San Antonio last week I set my mind to doing something. I knew it would be worthwhile, but it the day leading up to it felt like a drive to Worlds of Fun. Standing by the above work of art, I wondered if I’d be able to push myself through the fear. Feeling a little melodramatic, I paused in front of the door, and emboldened I walked through. Somehow taking that simple step gave me courage. The door seemed to say, “That wasn’t so tough, now was it?” I thought, if I can just will myself to take that step, I can do this thing that scares me. The Bible says “fear not” 365 times, one for each and every day of the year.
There is even one for today.
You can look your fear square in the face, name it Wanda (or whatever), and tell it to get the heck out of your way. Scram. Go on, git! That fear you’re actually starting to like, it’s lying to you. Your words, your art, your conversations, your whatever-you-feel-called-to-do-that’s-good-in-this life–it matters. Take the courage God’s offering. You’re equipped. You can do that thing. And you’re right, it will make a difference–maybe for just one, but that’s enough. You don’t have to manufacture the courage. God is handing it too you.
Take courage. Then, take that next little step. You don’t have to see where the path leads.
Soon, you’ll turn around in a place that’s cooler than you expected, and looking back you’ll know that the crossroads of fear and courage were where the magic of your life really happened.