Last night, I watched the movie, After Earth, starring Will Smith. I won’t give away any spoilers but one line in the movie (which incidentally is the tag line) really got me thinking…
“Danger is very real, but fear is a choice”.
I stopped to consider that statement and here’s what I’ve come up with…
Fear can be instinctive – and sometimes even justifiable – but anything beyond our initial gut reaction truly is a choice. Fear can be rational but it is far more often paralyzing, life controlling, and irrational.
An emotion intended to protect us actually works to destroy us the longer we experience it.
Fear holds us hostage more than any other emotion. Even more so than hate, at least in my opinion. In fact, I think fear is often at the root of hate. But, that’s a different subject for a different day…
F.E.A.R. – False Evidence Appearing Real
Like most people, I’ve had my struggles with fear – disguised as worry, anxiety, apprehension… you name it. I know what it’s like to have fear rule my life. But I also know what it’s like to conquer fear to a great degree.
Just over a year ago, I drastically changed my life in literally every way. I got to the point where my fear of staying the same was far greater than my fear of the unknown. I made the choice to live beyond my fear, and it’s been one of the best decisions of my life.
Notice that I said “best decision” of my life and not “easy decision”. The first few months were unbelievably tough. I wrestled with fear like I have never wrestled before. Most days it felt like I was walking with my feet encased in cement. But I kept walking. Speed doesn’t matter. What matters is that you keep moving.
When the hard knocks came, I focused on the facts. When the harder knocks came, I focused on faith. Faith that God has everything under control, and that He never gives us anything we can’t handle with His help.
Ecclesiastes 11:10 says to “banish anxiety from your heart and cast off the troubles of your body”. It’s not speaking about casually doing these things. Banishing and casting off are intentional actions to get rid of negatives within us that cause internal damage.
I can’t honestly tell you that I don’t ever experience fear anymore. But I can honestly tell you that I’m living more “fear free” than ever before. I’ve realized that life is going to happen whether I live in fear or not. So, to me, it makes much more sense to focus on living life and just deal with things as they happen.
As opposed to letting fear tell me how to live.
Fear is faith that it won’t work out. I’d rather have faith that things will work out. Either way, faith is involved.
My choice? Well, my running days are over.
Life begins where fear ends. I know this for a fact. I’ve lived it. And I’m committed to keep living it.