Friday the 13th…for some people, that may be a scary thought. Recently, while I was at science camp with my daughter, the camp counselor that was leading our group of kids was getting them prepped to ride on the speed line. The speed line is lower to the ground but faster than a traditional zip line. The counselor talked to the kids about fear and why it can be a good thing. Of course, healthy fears can keep us safe. A hot fire or an angry momma bear aren’t things with which we should be messing around. But some of our fears are irrational—monsters under the bed and mannequins that come alive were among a few that were mentioned.
As I watched all the kids play during their downtime, I could see that some kids, a couple of girls in particular, wanted to play volleyball. They lingered near the court, watching intently, but you could tell that something was holding them back. Fear. Fear that it would be obvious that they’ve never played volleyball, maybe? Fear that they wouldn’t be any good at it, maybe? Or maybe it was fear that they would look foolish in front of the boys that were there? I’m not sure what it was, but I could tell that those girls weren’t doing what they wanted to be doing.
But here’s the beautiful thing—one day, as part of our daily schedule, the kids were able to play a game called Nuke ‘Em. It’s a game played on a volleyball court with a volleyball, but the object is to catch the ball rather than hit it over the net. I watched as these girls, who were too full of fear and doubts to join in the earlier volleyball games, learned to play this new game and discovered that not only was it fun, but that they were good at it!
So how about you? In what ways are you giving into fears in your life? How about in your fitness life? Are you scared to try a new sport or form of exercise? Are you scared to give a sport that you used to love a try because you’re afraid that you won’t be as good as you once were? Are you scared to start a fitness regime for fear of looking silly or (gasp!) out of shape? Are you afraid of getting injured? Are you afraid that you’ll lose your balance and fall over? Which of these fears are rational/good fears and which are irrational? Let’s look at God’s truth for us:
“There is no room in love for fear. Well-formed love banishes fear. Since fear is crippling, a fearful life—fear of death, fear of judgment—is not yet fully formed in love.”
—1 John 4:18 (MSG)
Because God loves us, there is no need to fear. Jesus came so that we could live life to the full (John 10:10). God doesn’t want us to live life on the sideline or crippled by fear. Yes, we need to take healthy precautions when necessary. For example, if you haven’t worked out in a while, you need to start slowly and gently, but do what YOUR body can do. Try new things. You might surprise yourself and not only like it, but be good at it as well.