I am an avid walker but not much of a runner; however, there are a few things that get me running faster than you can say, “Just do it!” I’m a smart girl, so when I have been hurt in a situation before, experience says to hightail it and run the next time something or someone similar comes around. I’ve run from pain. I’ve run from rejection. And I avoid mean people anytime I can.
There are many things we run from. What about you? Maybe you have run from things like:
• Your past
The problem with running, as natural as it may seem, is it keeps us from experiencing all that life has for us. A life without risk of pain is a life without real relationships, progress, passion, and certainly without adventure or wonder. And that, my friend, is no life at all.
At the heart of all things we run from, is one common denominator—fear. We are afraid to be hurt again. We are afraid we will fail. At times we are even afraid to be hopeful.
We all face fear, but it is not the fear that defeats us, it is the running. Through the years I have experienced multiple situations where fear could have stopped me from work that needed to be done and the wonder I would witness. Cameras draw attention, and not always the positive kind. I’ve been detained by China’s secret police, shot at in an inner-city housing project, threatened by pimps as we escorted young women out of a red-light district, and been in the center of more than one angry mob. But in each of these experiences, and others like them, I was where I was supposed to be, doing what I was supposed to be doing.
Fear can be an important indicator of danger. For example, unless you are a first responder, you should not run into a burning building. Be smart, not reckless. But in order to live a fulfilled life, maintain an adventure mentality and continue chasing the wonder in your midst, you must stop running away at the wrong times. Stop bowing to fear.
Deuteronomy 31:6 says, “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” God will give you everything you need if you just take a step and trust Him.
Is it difficult to trust because you’re afraid of being disappointed once again? Don’t allow fear to stop what may become your greatest progress. Do you sometimes run from relationships because you fear rejection? Perhaps it is time to take that risk. Is there something you can’t stop thinking about doing, but you don’t because you’re afraid you could fail? It may be time to give it a shot anyway. Tell fear you will not live within its boundaries anymore.
What is one thing you’ve always wanted to do, but have been too afraid to try? It could be skydiving or learning to swim; leading a meeting at work or letting your kid leave your sight. Today, decide to live dangerously and try something new!