Don't Let Fear Paralyze You into Inactivity
This is how I have always tried to lived my life. It is the secret to a successful and productive life. Don't let fear paralyze you into inactivity. Sometimes if Satan can't get us to do bad things he tries to just get us to do nothing. In a river, if you are traveling upstream and you just do nothing, you will slowly move backwards. Only by paddling can we move ahead. We may think we can hold our ground, but that is only true if you are looking only at the water right by your boat. When we look out and up we notice that the water is not our true reference point, but it is the bank, and we a moving in the wrong direction. God wants us to always be moving forward. He does not expect us to move faster than we are able, but he does expect effort in that direction. That is part of having hope. That hope leads to faith which in turn must lead to action. The scriptures teach us that faith without works is dead. God teaches us that we have to act! We often forget the power one good person moving forward can exert on the world. We are fooled into believing that our actions, or inactions only affect us and maybe our immediate family. This couldn't be further from the truth. But if Satan can convince 1000 people of this, then so much good has been lost from this world.
I really loved the movie Back to Earth with Will Smith. I think it is a great allegory of us leaving our Heavenly Father and coming here to Earth. We have been sent here to accomplish a very difficult task, one wrought with many dangers. Our goal is to successfully navigate those dangers and return safely back to Him. Our Heavenly Father instructed us sufficiently before we came, but he could not come with us. However he did give us his Holy Spirit as a guide. If we listen, we can hear that guiding voice. We have to live our lives true to that prior teaching. The spirit brings those truths to our remembrance. Will Smith's character has a great quote about fear that my son, Alex sent to me in an email when I was struggling with fear about decisions in my life and moving forward. When I saw that movie and then again when Alex reminded me of the quote, it hit me as pure truth.
"But if we are going to survive this, you must realize that fear is not real. It is a product of thoughts you create. Now do not misunderstand me, danger is very real, but fear is a choice"
"Fear is not real. The only place that fear can exist is in our thoughts of the future. It is a product of our imagination, causing us to fear things that do not at present and may not ever exist. That is near insanity. Do not misunderstand me danger is very real but fear is a choice. We are all telling ourselves a story and that day mine changed."
Fear is the opposite of faith. When I realized that my fears really were of future things that I had no control over and that might not even happen, and I saw how they were paralyzingly me into inaction, I realized that Satan was winning. I was not turning to God in faith for help, I was simple despairing. I made a decision to put my imagined fears aside, to trust in God's plan for my life, and to ask for those promptings to do what He wanted me to do. I realized that his plan may be to still lead me through some hard things, but that if those hard things were part of His plan, then I had nothing to fear because in the long run they would be for my good. I quit trying to have a perfect, trial free life, but instead focused on have a life that was lead by the spirit and a product of personal growth. Growth requires us to do hard things, sometimes scary things. But if we do not fear, have faith and do our best then we will get to our destination up stream.
“Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.” –Theodore Roosevelt