Fear

When I was fourteen, I went camping with my family in Rushing River near Kenora. I hated tenting but understood that it was the most inexpensive way to build character in the great outdoors. And character was built the first night in the tent.
I woke up in the middle of a thunderstorm. Rain was pouring everywhere. The lightning was loud. When it struck, the flashes that would blind me would appear in unpredictable places in the surrounding bush. As an autistic man, I would have had a meltdown and suffered from sensory overload right in the middle of it.

But I had to pee…and very badly I might add.

I decided that out of desperation, I would put on my raincoat and a clean pair of pants. I unzipped the tent. I was still too embarrassed to find a bush outside. So I ran with a flashlight to the nearest out-house. I had no idea where I was going and sometimes a few trees slapped me (possibly even scratching me) in the face. I soon made it to the outhouse and did what I had to do in the dark. The lightning provided some sense of where to aim. Even if it didn’t seem scary on the inside, I was still afraid a huge bear might be waiting for me outside. The stench of human waste caused me extreme nausea and I almost throw up. But I finished quickly and took off back to the tent as fast as possible. I made it, zipped myself back inside my sleeping bag, and heard my parents’ voice; “We might laugh at this story someday.”

If a person is desperate for something, they will take any risk necessary to achieve that something. They will give up other things that are healthy for them such as an urgent need to get married, a high paying job or promotion, even membership of a community all in exchange for the one thing they want desperately the most. They will go through blood, sweat, tears, temptation, injury, sacrifices, lack, and sickness just to get it. If that person is chasing something that will change every aspect of their lives forever, they will not let fear hold them back. It’s a simple lesson but it is easier said than done. Take a risk and don’t let fear hold you back. The most prosperous of individuals are ones who jump off a cliff and build a plane on the way down. The fear is always there. The obstacles are always there. Overcoming fear is one of the best strengths of character to fight the good fight and finish the race. If God is for that fight and the “something” you’re fighting for, who can be against you?

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