Posts Tagged fear


by Roger Severino
Photo credit: Joe Hendricks
Roger Severino, Adult Discipleship – Leadership Minister

Several years ago I went running with my friend Matt and afterwards he made a comment. “You have an interesting way of running. You go at a moderate speed when it is flat or downhill [his way of saying I was slow], but you kick it into gear when you face a hill.”
That strategy made sense to me. When the road is flat or downhill, conserve your energy, because you are going to need it when you face that incline.
It’s interesting, as I began to get better —mainly through doing some speed interval training and developing my dormant fast twitch muscles— my approach to running changed. And I probably enjoyed it more. I tried to take advantage of the natural contours and run faster on flat or downhill surfaces, and adjusted my pace and slowed down when going up a hill.
As I reflect on that change in strategy, I think it is also a metaphor for my approach to life over time. Much of my life I have lived with a defensive posture waiting for the other shoe to drop as it inevitably does. I have been a stoic who has been slow to enjoy the smooth paths of life because I needed to be prepared for the next mountain I might face. Call it my coping strategy.
Slowly, I have learned to live a different way. The old way is primarily based on fear. Fear of the future and fear that I won’t have what it takes when the bottom drops. Fear is overcome when I feel secure in God and His love for me. 1 John tells us: “There is no fear in love; instead, perfect love drives out fear, because fear involves punishment. So the one who fears has not reached perfection in love. We love because He first loved us. “ The psalmists were far from taking the stoical approach to life. They trusted God enough to bring their full range of emotions to Him, believing that He was sufficient to be their Rock and Helper in times of crises.
Jesus said He has come to give us abundant life (see John 10:10). So, I am learning to enjoy the smooth roads of frequent blessings that I find in my life. I am allowing my pace to enjoy those natural contours of joy and thanksgiving. And the uphill battles? I am learning to believe that God will be enough when I face the inevitable trials of life.
Meanwhile . . . I’ll keep enjoying the journey.