Saturday, January 21, 2012

Potholes of Fear

I'm sure you are like me and your first thoughts of the day were about potholes.  OK, maybe not. (Hopefully not).  I can justify my madness, unlike other times.  I spoke about fear, to some wonderful, Jesus following, ladies at a retreat today.  The title of my session was, "Avoiding the Potholes of Fear" to go along with the theme "Life's a Trip."  I pondered on my notes one more time this morning and thoughts began to spill.

I remember driving my first car, a blue 1988 Suzuki Samurai (no a/c because what sixteen-year-old needs a/c in small town Oklahoma where you drive less than one mile to church and school and only three miles to work?  Only God knew that I'd drive that way until I got married at age twenty-five) down backroads in a miserably hot summer (no a/c remember), in smaller rural Oklahoma for my summer college job at a bank.  I don't believe anyone took responsibility for road maintenance.  The roads, heavily traveled by combines, semi-trucks, and local pickups remotely looked like pavement, resembling more of a battle field of potholes, better described as craters.  I thought about how potholes can represent fear, especially unwarranted, "what ifs" fear.

1)  Like potholes, fear causes damage.

Potholes can cause serious damage to your vehicle: changing alignment, bursting tires, scraping who knows what under your car, and can even cause you to wreck.  Fear also changes our "alignment with God".  It changes our focus from Jesus to us and our fears.  It may cause us to veer off the road God wants us to travel.    

2)  Like potholes, fear causes detours.

Potholes get bigger with time, overtaking pavement if not filled.  Eventually (unless in rural Oklahoma), the road temporarily closes for repair, resulting in detours.  People cannot use the road, the purpose for which it was made.  Our fear can grow if not properly assessed and diverted.  Our lives, wrecked by fear, hold a "temporarily closed" sign that God cannot use us as He desires.

3)  Like potholes, fear causes deceleration.
Potholes require us to slow down and concentrate on the potholes, rather than the road.  Fear causes us to slow down in our spiritual growth.  

4)  Like potholes, fear causes us to be desensitized.

After a while, the road of potholes no longer require our full attention.  We drive comfortably on the rugged road, knowing exactly where to swerve and accepting the fact that the maintenance crew may never repair the road.  With fear, we desensitize to its presence in our lives.  We wrongly concede to time-wasting, peaceless fear, believing the lie that fear does not affect us enough to care.  And honestly, may not care to change because we live contently with our fear, unable to imagine life any differently.

God desires us to live in freedom from fear, filling our frightening potholes of fear with faith.  The Bible teaches us how to overcome fear, beginning with personally knowing the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ.

What do you fear?  Are you tired of it yet?


I would love to hear your comments.