When someone tells you that they are going on a trip, what do you say to them? Do you ask where they’re going and what they’re doing? Do you tell them to have fun? Or do you always lead with “be safe”? Can you imagine going on the same trip yourself? Or does that scare you?
I have been pondering why so many people in my life tell me to “be safe” a lot. Those people in my life seem to live in fear a lot of the time. I think my adventures make them worry about my safety more than they are excited for my experiences. Even with things that keep us connected, like facebook, they still seem to think what I’m doing is crazy.
My job requires me to travel internationally about once or twice a year. I wanted the job partially because of that and I am consciously aware of what that means to my safety. I trust my company is not going to send me places that are unsafe and I take precautions and do what is necessary to make sure that I have a successful work trip and fun adventures while I am there. It is interesting to observe the reaction of people when I tell them that I’m going to exotic places like Shanghai or Vietnam. Almost immediately, those people start thinking in a negative way.
But I am not just talking about that kind of fear. I am talking about basic independence. People tend to react in fear of the unknown – sometimes just driving across town. Fear of the unknown is pretty much every animalistic instinct we have. So what I am really seeing is the people in my life have that fear of the unknown and worry a lot about it. I feel sad for them. It has taken me several years to understand that this is what they are feeling. For awhile, I was offended when they would tell me to “be safe”. I could not understand why they could not just say “have fun” or “I love you and I will miss you”. It just did not make sense to me. Then today I realized that it is second nature to these people because they live in fear of that unknown.
Another observation that I’ve made about these people is that they’re strong in their Christian faith. I cannot understand how you can have strong faith yet not trust God for everything. These are the same people afraid to drive out of their own town and are asking for prayers for the most minor things. I’m pretty sure in the bible, Peter or Paul talks about fear being the opposite of love. Maybe Jesus did… Regardless, there is no doubt in my mind that these words are true.
Fear seeps into everything like a fungus growing on the the bark of a tree that eventually takes over the entire thing and kills it.
What is the difference between worry and fear? Nothing.
If you worry for someone, you are living in fear about that person.
If you worry about someone attacking you at any given time, you live in fear. If you are worried your relationship will fail, it probably will. There is nothing wrong with being aware of your surroundings or being ready for a situation, but there is a big difference between being ready and cowering in fear.
Do you want to live life? Do you want to feel all that it has to offer?
Let go of fear and live it!
Let’s go of the fear that your relationship is going to fall apart and actually enjoy the relationship that you have.
Let go of the fear that keeps you from driving to the other side of town or the other side of the state or the other side of the country or flying to the other side of the world if that is what you want to do.
You no longer have to just wish for it.
You can actually do it! Let it go! Trust me!
This is what God wants for you too!