I’ve always fought the constraints of fear in my life. I assumed it was from my childhood, with an abusive father with hands two feet long, and the complete lack of affirmation.
However, after recent experiences, I am questioning that assumption.
In the Swiss Alps with my two grandsons, Middle Daughter’s boys, watching the difference in those two makes me wonder how much is built-in.
The oldest, Jeremy, is more like me. He thinks a lot, projects what might happen before he takes action, and is, therefore, sometimes paralyzed when the prospects of harm loom greater than the benefits.
Kyle, two years younger, seems to have no fear.
They have been taking freestyle skiing lessons every Saturday. Jeremy studies the moves and calculates his jumps and landings. He has wonderful form, and once he decides he is ready, executes the moves beautifully.
On the other hand, Kyle watches the instructor and goes for it, never even looking to see where he will land.
Last night, they spent several hours practicing in a special freestyle gym, with all kinds of trampolines and foam pits, jumps and ramps.
Jeremy awed me with his freestyle moves on the trampoline, naming each move.
Click on the arrow to see Jeremy practicing. (This has several video segments together, so watch to the end.)
I moved on to watch Kyle ride a scooter down a ski jump into a foam pit, and worked to get my heart back in my chest. After several of those, he did flips into the pit from a platform at least fifteen feet above. After a back flip from there, looking for a greater challenge, he scaled the rock climbing wall and did a back flip off of it.
Kyle jumping from the climbing wall
Kyle on kickboard on ski jump doing flip
Kyle flipping over the edge of the wall.
Today, I asked Kyle what he thinks about before he tries something new. He shrugged and replied, “If it seems like it would be fun, I do it.” That simple. When I asked if he was ever afraid before he did something, he looked at me with a puzzled expression.
So if we are born with these tendencies, then God created us that way. Maybe I can stop beating myself up for being so cautious.
And you impulsive ones can rest assured you weren’t made that way by mistake, either.
For the cautious ones like me, Paul encourages us.
God is strong, and he wants you strong. So take everything the Master has set out for you, well-made weapons of the best materials. And put them to use so you will be able to stand up to everything the Devil throws your way.Ephesians 6:10 The Message
More than encouragement, Paul tells us the real battle is the spiritual one, and we are all fitted for that.
This is no afternoon athletic contest that we’ll walk away from and forget about in a couple of hours. This is for keeps, a life-or-death fight to the finish against the Devil and all his angels.Ephesians 6:11
So perhaps we are made so different in order to band together, in marriage, families, friendships, churches, small groups, wherever we find support. It’s the body of Christ thing. Together, we have the courage to move, as well as the forethought and planning to take into account what might come against us.
And God gives us all full armor for protection, and for the weapons we need for the battle before us.” Ephesians 6:12 The Message
What’s your tendency, too much or too little caution?
How are you growing with the bent you are created with?