This is Brody – he doesn’t look that big in the picture but he is a 90 lb. English Fox Hound/Yellow Lab and when he gets close to you, his size can be quite intimidating. Brody is a really gentle dog but …..well…he’s kinda’ dumb at times.
Last time I was visiting at Brody’s house, I noticed that my friend had hung a piece of string across the doorways of the dining and living rooms. The string was loosely attached to the door frames with with one simple dress pin on each side.
What fascinated me was the fact that this tiny string successfully kept 90 lb. Brody from entering the rooms.
I’m not sure how or when it happened but at one point in his life, Brody perceived that this string was something to fear. Despite his size and strength, he’s never even thought about breaking through that string…and it’s been that way for his entire life.
Brody’s irrational fear of the string has been greatly appreciated by his owners over the past fourteen years because they can sit in a relatively “dog hair free” living room – they can have guests over without worrying about big Brodie intimidating everyone. It’s to their advantage that Brodie has never figured out that he could easily break through this perceived limitation.
My point is this – if this isn’t a perfect picture of what a person’s irrational fear can do, I don’t know what is! How often do we say, “No” to a possibility, avoid a challenge or politely walk away from an amazing opportunity, based on our perception of a situation, rather than the reality. We don’t take a step forward because staying where we are is perceived to be “safe.” How sad.
We give our fear power when when stand at an open door and choose not to explore. We miss so much when we settle for perceived safety, rather than real adventure. Scripture says that “life is but a vapour” and the older we get, the more we realize how fleeting our lives really are. We need to boldly go where God wants us to go and 40 years of walking with Him has taught me that following Him into unknown territory is a wise decision.
I don’t want to be on the outside, looking in.
For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self discipline. 2 Timothy 1. 7 NIV