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 ! SUBSCRIBE NOW to catch these updates from FaithBarista hot and fresh directly in your mailbox via email (click here) or RSS (click here) news reader.
[…] This post was Twitted by TheBonnieGray […]
[…] ‘I am the Lord’s servant,’ Mary said. ‘May it be to me as you have said.’” Luke 1:37-38 Read More.. My Favorite […]
What helps me switch to faithgazing? Posts like this. I love this post! Keeping what God did for us in simple terms reminds me of just how human Jesus was and what he did for us was a miracle from our Father.
[…] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Bonnie Gray, Bonnie Gray, Bonnie Gray, Bonnie Gray and others. Bonnie Gray said: New Post! Are You a Feargazer? http://bit.ly/2LtokV I've got some feargazing sites to confess! Can you relate? […]
“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.”
The Bible could be titled “Against All Odds.” Many day,I find myself saying “I walk by faith and not by sight.” – even if, especially if, I’m afraid, I say it.
Thanks for a refreshing brew of faith giving words.
Well Bonnie I certainly needed this post today…thank you! I tend to feargaze when I should be faithgazing…I appreciate the reminder!
Fear-gazing…it grabs me in the area of “my dreams,” when I’m stepping out into something new, that seems bigger than what I can handle (the Moses kind of stuff). It often hits me late at night when I’m tired and vulnerable to discouragement. Then I hear the little voice that tells me that I’m sure to fail and that everyone will be watching when I do!
I’ve dreamed a long time of being a Christian speaker and I am just days away from my first event (yes, there is the element of “everyone watching” inherent in this).
I find myself over-preparing in the hopes of being found faithful AND quite honestly, not wanting to get up there and humiliate myself.
God seems to be challenging me to let go and trust that He will work through me when I focus on Him. Not the micro-managing, memorizing, and having everything just so! I really can leave the outcome to Him.
It helps to remember He has established the work of my hands and has prepared them before I was born. And that He has not called me out to humiliate me: “I sought the Lord and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame.” Psalm 34:4,5
@Heather: Well said, Heather. Jesus was willing to be human. You know it had to be a miracle!
@Doug: “Especially when I’m afraid to say it..” This is wise but also not intuitive, don’t you think? But, I suspect for you, faith walker, it is. 😉
@Bridget: I loved your post today. Goes hand in hand with mine! We are on the same wavelength, sister!
@Mari: You go, girl! I’ll be praying for you.
Love, love, love your site. Glad I found it! (thanks to a Twitter link…)
Your perspective of Feargazing resonates I’m sure with everyone who reads this. We all do it. One of my colleagues and friends just dropped dead of a heart attack at 57 years old a couple days ago, so that, of course triggers all sorts of fears – health, death, unfinished business, loneliness, etc.
Not that there’s anything wrong with planning. That’s partly how we get anything done these days – get up, write it down, put your nose to the grind and get it done. Even your most cherished dreams require a good deal of sweat and sacrifice.
But the bottom line is God’s circuitous path is what we can and must trust in. Reminds me of that saying, “If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans.”
Blessings to you . I’ll be back!
“You will keep in perfect peace the one stayed upon You, because he trusts in You.” (Isaiah 26:3)
When I feel anxious, I must consciously turn my eyes to my God.
The illustration is both beautiful and effective, Bonnie. Nice job.
@Bradley: Welcome, Bradley!
“Nothing wrong with planning..” That’s totally right on, bro!
“But the bottom line is God’s circuitous path is what we can and must trust in.”
“Reminds me of that saying, “If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans.”
LOL! Luv it!
@Anne: Thanks, Anne! Would you believe it? Isaiah 26:3 is my life verse! Yes, the key is training myself to turn my eyes to God when I’m anxious.
Your comment: 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.
So true. Especially the ones we don’t dare breathe. Anything kept in the dark becomes monstrously big and powerful seeking to destroy.
Your theme of “How bad could it get?” reminded me of a Christian seminar I once attended. He recommended that we always ask “What’s the worst thing that could happen?” Then, draw it out to the end point, which was always “I could die.” At that point, he said, you can rejoice because you would be with Jesus, so if that’s the worst that can happen, go ahead and give it a try.
A novel approach, don’t you think?
@Karen: It’s definitely a novel approach! I guess I’m more worried about the steps before getting to see Jesus. ;p So happy to “see” you here! I went to visit your website and read “Reflections”. Absolutely inspiring.
[…] I: My review of Max Lucado's newly released book Fearless: Imagine Your Life Without Fear Part 2: Are You a Feargazer? Part 3: A Newbies Quick Guide To Faithgazing SUBSCRIBE NOW to catch these updates from […]
“Take your eyes off your planning… ” That’s a good word for today. Thanks for stopping by Seedlings in Stone.
[…] Worry. Fear. […]
[…] 8. Are You A Feargazer? […]