Last weekend/year I ventured out of the safe haven of the Cronx to fields of green and barley - or something like that.
What started out a nice plan to stroll through the glorious English countryside with a quick pitstop at a cake shop (obviously), turned into an epic and perilous trek through hills, mountains and ravines of mud, mud and more mud. It was just like going on a bear hunt - we couldn't go over it, we couldn't go under it, so o flip flopping no we had to go through it.
I spent the better part of two hours terrified I was about to slip, fall and then trudge back to the car covered head to toe in mud, my shame at falling witnessed and judged by every other walker, sheep and cow that we saw. I'm all for natural facemasks but face full of sheep crap mud? Yeah, I'll give that a miss thanks.
I soon realised I was letting the fear of what might happen rob me of the joy of enjoying green fields, blue skies and horizons - yes, real life horizons with trees. And then, as you do when you have a realisation, the soundtrack kicks in. This one was The Fear by Ben Howard -
Oh, I've been worryin' that my time is a little unclear
I've been worryin' that I'm losing the ones I hold dear
I've been worryin' that we all live our lives in the confines of fear
Then it hit me like a wrecking ball of cold wet mud - Have I really? Have I really been living my life in the confines of fear?
I would like to say at this point I threw caution to the wind, threw off the shackles of fear, embraced potential failure and stomped through the mud like a child rejoicing in puddles.
Ha! No. I hate being cold, wet and muddy - you can thank three years of PE lessons playing rugby on top of a hill in winter for that. I actually made it back to the safety of the car crying for my mother, holding on to all fences and trees that might keep me upright, and when no other option seemed possible simply closing my eyes, saying a quick prayer and leaping across the puddle/river/reservoir of mud. Not too different from surviving PE actually.
But fear doesn’t just influence how we live, it also influences how we see God. I’ve had Let You Go by United Pursuit playing round and round in my head for the past few days. Particularly this bit:
Help me let You go, help me give up control of the God I have made you when my fear has contained you
I’ve been listening to it on repeat repeat repeat and waking up singing it. (The week before it was The Secret Place by Phil Wickham).
Ever been there? Making decisions out of fear and not faith? Believing lies, letting fear cloud your vision of God and distort it to something seemingly more manageable?
Me too – you’re in good company.
Fortunately for us, by his mighty power at work within us, he is able to accomplish infinitely more than we would ever dare to ask or hope (Ephesians 3v20). So while some may trust in horses and chariots (Psalm 20v7), weapons and armies, technology, jobs, people – all of which can be gone in an instant – we can trust in a God who can do more than we can even dream.
I don’t know about you, but I would much rather a life where I had to be brave and embrace potential failure and discomfort to see the immeasurably more of God, than a comfortable life confined by fear.
Here’s to the immeasurably more!