Face Your Fears – Experience Life, Adventure, and God-Intended Thrills

July 2013 486

What do you fear?

Is it the dark?  Is it heights?  Is it failure?  Is it falling?

What is it that makes you shake in your boots (or shoes or sandals)?

My hunch is that we all struggle with fear.

While we were on vacation, we had the opportunity to visit a water park in the Wisconsin Dells.  As soon as we arrived, the kids and I headed for the Tornado.  The Tornado is a six or seven story slide that drops riders into a giant bowl where they are left to swing back and forth until the raft is flushed through a tube at the bottom and into a pool of water.

July 2013 485Leanne immediately proclaimed that there was no way she would be riding on the Tornado.  She stuck to the smaller water slides for a while and sat at the side of the pool reading her book.  I guess I can’t blame her, the Tornado did seem pretty large.  Fear prevented her from climbing the steps (Isaac counted 97 steps) to the top of the slide.

And then something happened, Leanne decided it was time to “punch fear in the face” (to use a Jon Acuff phrase).  She grabbed the kids and me, and we climbed the steps together lugging the rafts to the top of the slide ready to face her fear of the Tornado.  Sure enough, Leanne hesitantly sat down on the raft and prepared for the decent into the Tornado.  As the covered sliding tube began to drop from the top, Leanne let out a shrill scream which could be heard until she reached the pool below.

July 2013 497As we joined her at the bottom of the slide, she raised her hands in the air and proclaimed “I did it!”  We asked her if she wanted to do it again to which she quickly declined.

She never went back on the Tornado, but she did it.  Leanne faced her fear.  She took the plunge.

There are probably many times in our lives where it’s okay to have a healthy level of fear.  But there are also many times when our fears are simply holding us back from experiencing life – experiencing adventure – experiencing God-intended thrills.

Last year, I struggled with a leap of faith decision that forced me to look eye to eye with some of my own fears.  When I faced the fear, it led me to Guatemala – a trip that changed my life.  In just a week and a half, I’ll be heading back with my family.  Do I have some fears related to this trip?  Honestly, yes.  Am I excited to experience life, adventure, and God-intended thrills?  Absolutely!

What fears are holding you back from life, adventure, and God-intended thrills?  What step can you take this week to face your fears?