Instead of feargazing, we can be faithgazing. When we walk by faith, we are following God, not a plan.
When I’m torn between trying something new or staying with the status quo, it’s inevitable a friend will pipe up, “You should just do it! What’s the worst thing that can happen?”
On one hand, figuring out worst case scenarios is a strength.
One look into a plan and I can imagine countless numbers of worst case scenarios. This was actually a good thing in the workplace when I used to run product teams. Figuring out the underlying risks and mitigating them with contingency plans wasn’t just a nice-to-have. It was my job.
‘Cuz you know when stuff hits the fan, someone’s gonna be asking what-happened-to-Plan-B and what-about-Plan-C?
The bigger the problem, the more frenzied I’d get attacking the sucker. Quite well, I might add.
You see, I got pretty skilled honing my planning skills since I was wee tall at age five, when my daddy left home.
Don’t we all have experiences like that? Experiences that have taught us, Be careful. Don’t let life get ugly. Fool proof it with planning. Anticipate trouble and avoid it. At all costs.
Unfortunately, the cost to all this planning and reaching for Eden can lead us out on a ledge called “Feargazing”.
Feargazing Hot Spots
Look into your future and what do you see?
Checkout my hot spots for feargazing:
– my bank account: money will run out and i’ll have to return to work full-time. no money for retirement, wearing moth-eaten old sweaters surviving on a steady diet of tuna fish sandwiches.
– my marriage: my Honey gets a fatal illness, dies early, leaving me to raise two boys alone.
– my children’s well-being: my sweet, trusting kids would be abused or hurt.
– my dreams: i’d pursue it and people will shake their heads in embarrassment for me. “move along, people. nothing to see here,” passerbys rubbernecking over my attempts.
Isn’t that terrible?! It’s interesting to note that I mysteriously feargaze usually after being blessed with a happy moment.
The Enemy is evil. He knows he can’t touch our eternal souls. He goes for the jugular and rips into our hidden fears. Especially the ones we don’t dare breathe.
Faithgazing God Spots
Then, I think about the “Birth Plan” God came up with for His Son Jesus.
God totally changed the game on this good planning strategy which seems to be very en vogue these days.
Check out God’s plan:
– Jesus is going to be Mary & Joseph’s first baby. But, they won’t have help the first month or the first years with the support of family and friends. They’ll be first time parents in a foreign land.
– Mary won’t be pregnant with Jesus after marrying Joseph. As a single teenager, Mary’s actually a candidate for death by stoning, since she’s unwed.
– Mary, Joseph and Jesus will probably have a bad rep, following them for life in a small village. Crowd pleasing conditions, NOT.
– Mary’s fiancee will first think she’s fast and foot-loose. And her poor folks? They’ll be in a tough spot given they vouched for her celibacy prior to matrimony.
Oh, boy. What do you think of God’s planning skills?
Perfect. In The Almighty’s wisdom, God penned the most important life story drawing from the ink of faith, rather than the plans of men.
What was Mary’s response?
“I am the Lord’s servant.. May it be to me as you have said.”
This prayer has become my anecdote to fear. I pray it during the day and especially at night, when fearful thoughts pop up.
God, I surrender.
I’ve tried to do it my way, planning and drawing up contingency plans whenever I attempt to walk by faith.
If this (“X” in it’s worst case scenario) is what you have planned for me, then let it be to me, as you have said.
Take your eyes off your planning and your fears. Instead gaze into Jesus’ loving face.
Instead of feargazing, we can be faithgazing.
Remember: When we walk by faith as Christians, we are following God, not a plan.
Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” (Is.30:21)
How ’bout you? Does planning have any ill side effects to your faith walk?
What are your feargazing sites?
What helps you switch to faithgazing?
Today's post is Part 2 of the series Slaying My Dragons of Fear.
Be sure to check out:
Part I: Fearless: Imagine Your Life Without Fear
Part 3: A Beginner's Quick Guide to Faithgazing !
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