Remember the blizzard of March 2017? We were warned early in the week. Our local news, traffic and weather stations were so excited to play their “bad weather” news alert jingle. All the meteorologists were telling us to go to the store and buy bread and milk.
We were cautioned the snow would come in the middle of the night. Interstates would be shut down and life would grind to a halt.
OK – let me stop the melodrama. I received a call on Thursday to teach at a Sunday school class because the presenter had cancelled (probably heard about the coming snow conditions and decided to stay home). I said “yes” before I remembered about the weather.
It had been 70 degrees all week long. The roads were warm. The ground was warm. When I woke up, the streets were wet. The grass in my backyard was taller than the snow. There was an inch of snow on my car. There was no one on the roads.
I left my house at 8:45 a.m. and enjoyed seeing the winter wonderland. It was beautiful. Normally, I don’t drive in the snow. I am afraid of driving in the snow.
Fear can be a good thing. Or not. It paralyzes us from trying new things.
I was afraid of failure. I would have stayed home during the blizzard of March 2017 had my friend not invited me to teach in his Sunday school class. I would have looked out the window or stood on my porch and wondered what was going on in the world instead of exploring it and finding out it wasn’t as scary as I thought.
There is a scripture verse that addresses fear. It says, “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” What are we afraid of? What are the fears we face? They could include rejection, failure or success.
If it is failure, then my identity is tied into doing things well. If I can’t do it well, I won’t do it. I sit back and watch others enjoy life. If it is rejection, we only stay in our own close circle of friends. If we don’t have friends, we watch TV alone each night. If it is success, just when things start to go well, we do or say something to sabotage the momentum we have created.
When the scripture verse states we are not made perfect in love, we think that God loves us if we are good. If we are bad, then He withholds that love. Rather we should say, we are good because God loves us. Another way to say it is that we are declared right before God because God demonstrated that love on the cross. When it is not about us, but about what He has done for us, we can be “made perfect in love.”
I got home from Sunday school and tackled two projects that scared me to death. Both involved plumbing. One involved draining the hot water tank. I didn’t grow up with one. We had a hot water jacked inside our oil-fired furnace. I never watched anyone drain a hot water heater. I hooked up the hose, turned the knob, watched the water come out and smiled. It wasn’t as scary as I thought.
I wish I could put courage into you. I can’t. I can only encourage you to try the things that cause you fear and stifle the life God has for you.
I’ll be back in two weeks. Until then, live well my friend.
Rev. Tony Marciano is the executive director of the Charlotte Rescue Mission. He is available to speak to your group. Find more information at www.charlotterescuemission.org.