Wednesday, July 28, 2010

What If...

We took a quick trip to San Antonio this past weekend. Among several other things, we were able to go to Six Flags, fiesta Texas.

I love roller-coasters so I was pretty much a happy guy last Friday. Even better, my 9 year old daughter enjoys most of them with me.

We rode this:

And this:

And then the water park opened. It was actually attached to the theme park which was awesome (and free). This was my daughter's first time at a water park. She loved the Lazy fact, I think we spent two hours total just floating and swimming along with the current. It was stormy on and off that day so we were in and out of the water a lot, and we didn't get to ride the huge slides...but at the end of the day, we got a chance to ride one.

Not that one, but I am sure to my little one it looked like that one. It was just she and I standing in line waiting for about 30 minutes. She paced and looked, and then let loose an onslaught of "What ifs..." and "Are you sures." No matter what I said, she was sure she was going to: fall, slide off the edge of a curve, drown, flip, or crash. I was so fascinated because I was watching myself. That was me at her age. And if you read one of my recent's still me to some extent.

I watched as her fear grew and fed on itself, despite my most logical arguments ("What would have happened if anyone had ever been hurt on this ride?") and my most sincere fatherly reassurance ("I know you and love you and would never take you on something which would scare or hurt you.")

Of course I gave her plenty of option to get out of line.

She refused every time. That made me proud but also was a great study of faith and human nature to go TOWARD those things that we fear, despite our fear. She trusts me...but needed to vent her anxiety.

How could I convince her that it was going to be fun and not terrifying!? I couldn't. The ride did. I bet her a dollar at the top of the ride that at the end, she would tell me it was a fun ride. As we gently rode the water down to the pool at the bottom, she talked her way through, "This isn't so bad. This is cool! We really are going slower than it looked. It's really not that high." Splash down brought a surprised pleasant squeal...and as we got out of the pool...

"Well Daddy, I guess I owe you a dollar."

I guess that was a reasonable price to pay for that life lesson.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Bring It!

I recently took the plunge and decided to purchase a home workout DVD series seen on late night TV.

My wife and I are into the second month of the program and I must is...intense.

Last night I was working out solo and Little One was watching me. Half way through she said, "I'm tired just watching you Daddy." and then left the room.

5 minutes later she was back with a fresh glass of ice water, with straw. And a carefully folded damp towel with an ice pack in the middle. "This will help you cool off."

Just the second wind inducer I needed to keep myself in great shape for me...and for her!

Thanks Little One....I am more amazed with who you choose to be day by day.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Scaredy Cat

A while back I heard a radio sermon on the way to Walmart that somehow gave me a brief glimpse of life without fear. I tried to jot down what the man said that gave me the respite but could not capture it well enough that fear did not take it's un-rightful spot in my heart a day later.

I am a BIG coward.

Always have been.

I'm afraid to talk to people. I'm even afraid to be seen in public sometimes. I'm afraid I'll lose my job. I'm afraid I'll get a chronic, debilitating illness...or die. I'm afraid my wife or child will die. I'm afraid of this and that and the other.

I know that much of that stems from me father's own fears. He too was a big coward. I also know that some of it stems from my lack of self-confidence.

But the bulk is from the enemy. I believe that somehow I gave him permission to have his way with my "fear centers" and he has been having his way ever since.

I believe that most men, if they were really honest, would agree that they, too are afraid.

Some give in to it and play life safe.

Some run away from it and drink, drug, or sex their way into permanent denial.

A few face it head on and it pushes them to great heights.

I want to banish it.

I always thought that winning about $5 mill. would do it. No more fear of money problems.

Then I figured I would also need full genetic testing to ensure I don't have any major deadly ailments on the horizon.

Then I figured I could wrap my wife and child in bubble wrap, lock them in a safe-room and ...

You get the picture.

I think God is leading me to the truth over time though, banishing fear means taking away the main weapon the enemy uses to tweak it...


(It says..."I'm sorry, I can't hear you over the sound of how awesome I am.")

(Good one huh Ken?)

Not me personally as in getting rid of myself but ME! philosophically. My own inflated self-importance.

You see. I'm really, really important. I don't know if you readers realize how incredibly valuable and important I am. In fact, I don't think I could live without me. I'm so important that, if I suffer, the world is over. If I lose my bank account, everything would crumble.

Of course you realize what I mean: I believe that the moment I REALLY grasp and accept that the world, life, is not about ME!, then the enemy loses his power to make me afraid of losing me...or mine.

620,000 people died in the American civil war.

51,000 men died in the Battle of Gettysburg.

Did they believe life was all about them?

Most probably did. It's hard to be small and insignificant.

But we are. For all my illusions of importance, for all my illusions of what I deserve from my life....I am a speck on a flea on a small dog in a world full of a billion other dogs. (Not sure that was the scale I was going for but...)

You know what's absolutely insane though?

God disagrees.

29Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. 30And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31So don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. (Matthew 10:29-31)

Oh yeah, and He allowed His son to die in our place so that we can not only be free from the Law of guilt and death, but so that we could be with Him forever...I guess that's kind of like winning the lottery.

Another weapon for this warrior. When my mind whispers and attempts to terrify: I must remember:

Being important in the world is fleeting and an illusion. The truth is my importance in God's eyes. He knows my name, the number of hairs on my head, His plan for the effect my life is to have on others, and most importantly, my address in Heaven. not afraid.

Next time: Can Christain's go on the offensive, or are are we in a strictly defensive posture until the end?