Fear it is a huge part of our everyday life whether we recognize it or not. I’m discovering daily how it plays with our decisions. Have you seen those commercials for satellite service for TV? The ones that show what appears to be a normal person who is bored because there is nothing on their TV so that leads them to do something different which leads them to something else and it eventually gets a ridiculously crazy end result like the original person being chased, afraid for his life crashing through a roof into a strangers nice dinner party. We’ve laughed at this commercial each time we’ve seen it. However, crazy as it sounds it does illustrate a truth I’m beginning to understand better.
When we allow a fear to camp out in our mind we begin to make decisions based on that fear whether we recognize it or not. Here’s an easy example. My husband cut his hand badly when he was a very small child. To this day he chooses on a regular basis not to work with sharp knives unless it is absolutely necessary. He does not consciously stop and think each time an opportunity presents itself, “gee I’ve been cut before and it really hurt. I don’t want to do that again so I won’t use this knife.” He just has a learned automatic answer, “can you cut that?”
Last winter after just planning our vacation we realized some financial difficulties were bigger than anticipated. Much to our disappointment the responsible thing to do was cancel our plans. We did and while we are still rebuilding our finances we are fine. However, if you live in Iowa you know that we are experiencing a drought. The basis of my husband’s business is built on mowing. His main account does not have irrigation. This week he did a very small “partial mow.” If we do not get rain soon he will not mow at all next week. Last night I was anxious and a bit irritable. It wasn’t until I finally “unloaded” on my husband that I realized that I was making decisions that day based on fear of lack of income. Now don’t get me wrong in a situation like this it is wise to watch your expenditures and make a plan for provision as much as you can. However letting fear take over and make your decisions for you without completely thinking them through is just plain silly. I had decided against doing something we’ve talked of for months AND I was pouting about my decisions. I had not talked it over with Mark. I had not looked at the bank statements etc. I just thought of last winter and looked outside and saw brown, burnt up grass.
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you.” Isaiah 43:1-2 ESV
Have you ever made a choice that now you recognize as one made based on fear? Am I the only one doing this? Is fear dictating choices in your life? Let’s “talk.” Often just slowing down enough to say why did I decide/do that or talking out loud with someone will give you the broader perspective you may need.