Fears are interesting. When I was a child, I was fearful of the basement in our house. Mice lived in the basement. It smelled like mildew. It was dimly lit and filled with old boxes and junk. As I grew older, I learned that rats and snakes visited there too. As I grew up and less fearful, my fears of the basement should have shrunk.
When I was 36 years old, I was 6’ 3” tall and over 225 pounds. I was significantly larger than a mouse, snake, and even a large rat. I was an avid hunter of animals even larger than those in the basement. Yet when my mom called one morning saying a water pipe had busted and soaked the basement, those old fears washed over me. Fears are powerful, and crippling.
My mom lives way out in the muddy bottoms of rural Arkansas by herself. I lived an hour and a half away, but I knew I had to go and help her clean out the basement. I instantly thought about one of the principles that Trailblaze Now strives to instill in men: Accelerate Towards Fear. My fears were real, but I knew I had to accelerate into them to be the son and the man that God was calling me to be that day.
As I drove to her house, I tried to keep telling myself to accelerate towards my fear, but it didn’t help much. Self motivating pep talks are great when there is no immediate and real danger around, but when the time comes for you to step up and practice what you preach, sometimes they aren’t enough to overcome your fears.
No one else was home when I pulled up to her house, unloaded my tools, and put on my gloves. Just as I was about to open the basement door, I heard a truck pull up. A family friend had heard the news and had come to help. Instantly, all my fears were washed away. Maybe it is because I didn’t want to show my fears in front of another man. Maybe it is because I knew if a man eating mouse jumped out from behind a box that someone else could go call for help or assist in the kill. I’m not sure exactly what it is, but I do know that as powerful as our fears are, there’s even more power in relationships and community.
We were created to live life in community with others. There are many advantages and much Biblical support for this, but in relation to fears, it is so important to not try to live life alone. We need others in our lives. Men that isolate themselves are more likely to struggle with pornography or have affairs. They’re more likely to make foolish financial decisions. They are way more likely to be paralyzed by fears and not live the ambitious life God has planned for them.