Running Scared

It gives me joy to share with you an impactful article from one of my favorite writers, Charles Swindoll, on Running Scared:

Want to know the shortest route to ineffectiveness? Start running scared. Try to cover every base at all times. Become paranoid over your front, your flanks, and your rear. Think about every possible peril, focus on the dangers, concern yourself with the “what ifs” instead of the “why nots?” Take no chances. Say no to courage and yes to caution. Expect the worse. Play your cards close to your vest. Let fear run wild. “To him who is in fear” said Sophocles, “everything rustles.” Triple lock all doors. Keep yourself safely tucked away in the secure nest of inaction. And before you know it (to borrow from the late author, E. Stanley Jones), “the paralysis of analysis” will set in. So will loneliness, and finally isolation. No thanks!

How much better to take on a few ornery bears and lions, like David did. They ready us for giants like Goliath. How much more thrilling to step out into the Red Sea like Moses and watch God part the waters. Sure makes for exciting stuff to talk about while trudging around a miserable wilderness for the next forty years. How much more interesting to set sail for Jerusalem, like Paul, “not knowing what will happen to me there,” than to spend one’s days in monotonous Miletus, listening for footsteps and watching dull sunsets. Guard your heart from overprotection!

Happily, not all have opted for safety. Some have overcome, regardless of the risks. Some have merged into greatness despite adversity. They refuse to listen to their fears. Nothing anyone says or does holds them back. Disabilities and disappointments need not disqualify.

As Ten Engstrom insightfully writes: “Cripple him, and you have a Sir Walter Scott. Lock him in a prison cell, and you have a John Bunyan. Bury him in the snows of Valley Forge, and you have a George Washington. Raise him in abject poverty and you have an Abraham Lincoln. Strike him down with infantile paralysis, and he becomes Franklin Roosevelt. Burn him so severely that the doctors say he’ll never walk again, and you have a Glenn Cunningham—who set the world’s one-mile record in 1934. Deafen him and you have a Ludwig van Beethoven. Have him or her born black in a society filled with racial discrimination, and you have a Booker T. Washington, a Marian Anderson, a George Washington Carver… Call him a slow learner and write him off as uneducable, and you have an Albert Einstein.”

Tell you fears where to get off… (Remember this): Effectiveness—sometimes greatness—awaits those who refuse to run scared.

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, of love and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7). Amen & Amen!

Devotedly yours,
Pastor Ron

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