Be afraid of your work

(This is Part 3 in a series exploring the theme of adventure. Here are the links for Part 1 and Part 2.)

Does the thought of doing something spark all sorts of fears? If so, then this is the post for you.

Photo by en-shahdi. Used in accordance with Creative Commons.

Photo by en-shahdi. Used in accordance with Creative Commons.

Mission is risky. It had better be. Otherwise isn’t probably not worthy of the title “mission”. No one would watch a movie called Mission: Possible, in which Ethan Hawke sets out to drive his car around the block. No…we want missions to be bold, daring, adventurous.

And so by definition, missions are fear-inducing. It might even be safe to say (pun fully intended) that it’s not a mission unless it’s possible to fail it.

Yes, Joshua had the assurance from God that he would conquer the land. But that needed to be worked out in every single battle he faced. In fact, he even lost one…at Ai. Success wasn’t just handed to him. He had to work it out and see it come to pass step by step. Until success was won, there would be risk.

Fear is a natural by-product of risk. And at the same time, fear can be an indicator that something is actually worthwhile.

And you know what else fear means: it means that you’re personally attached to the task, to the goal. And you fear because you sense deep down that part of you is at stake. It’s not just about doing the task successfully or not. Doing the task is actually a reflection of your being. Who you are and what you’re about. You’re afraid because if you fail, you have nothing else to fall back on. That was your life’s aim. If you fail playing Internet games, that’s safe because nothing of you is at stake. But if you fail at what you believe your life to be about….

So here’s a test for you: Think about what you want to give your life to, what you want to make of yourself. If you don’t feel any fear, then you haven’t really hit on your life’s mission. You’re playing it too safe. You need to think and pray bigger than that.

As busy people, we can so often get caught up in the doing of things that are safe. Fear-inducing tasks are easily avoided because there’s so many other tasks that need to be done. There’s always something else to take care of. So we can conveniently (and sometimes unconsciously) dodge fear by doing the low-hanging fruit, the tasks that feel safe and easy and manageable. But there’s a saying: “Taking the past of least resistance makes both rivers and men crooked.” Ponder that….

Question: What are you thinking of doing that makes you feel afraid?

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