So Sam and I were channel surfing the other night and came across the new Fear Factor. For those of you not familiar with it, you’re not missing anything. It’s basically a game show for really unique people who do crazy things to win lots of money. For one challenge, the people had to drink a bug latte—basically a warm drink made up of stinkbugs, flies and worms, with some curdled milk for that added touch of yum.
Sam asked me if I would be afraid to drink bugs for a lot of money. I waved her off. “Fear? I laugh in the face of fear! I’d guzzle those babies.”
She rolled her eyes, “Of course you would, Mom.”
She had me pegged. Not even for fifty grand.
We changed the channel.
Fear. I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately—mainly because I’ve been revving up for this triathlon I told you about a few months ago. I registered. I bought cool triathlon books. I asked for triathlon gear for Christmas.
But when I envision the actual race, these are the pictures that come to mind:
I put on my ever-so-flattering wetsuit and inadvertently stand next to a race champion. Photojournalists start clicking photos and there I am in the background, unsightly bulges making front-page news.
Everyone jumps in the water and starts swimming the reservoir loop. I jump in and because my right arm is stronger, start turning left. My fellow triathletes complete the course and I end up in a mountain stream heading north.
I finish the swim and climb on my bike. I’m wearing those fancy bike shoes that clip into the pedals—only I can’t unclick them and I fall over to the side, tearing a whole in my fancy riding pants while knocking down and ticking off very serious and muscular triathlete women.
Or the officials head home before I finish the race and I get lost and eaten by a bear.
These are the kinds of fears that plague me.
Part of me was thinking I should maybe find a different goal, a kinder gentler pursuit like raising baby rabbits or starting a collection of teddy bears. Maybe I’m just not cut out to be the rugged athletic sort.
But the other part of me thinks this would be a very good stretch. Get me out of my comfort zone. Cause me to embrace my bold and adventurous side. Get me healthy as I pursue iron girl status.
I think my God is encouraging me along the same lines. While fear of drinking bugs is wise, fear of challenging myself is not. The same courage it will take for me to put on a wet suit will be a model as I encourage young women to be comfortable in their own skin. The same focus it will take for me to swim straight is the same laser focus I will need to finish this next book I’m working on. The same “I’m a serious athlete, don’t mess with me” biking tactics will give me the courage to stand for purity and faith when others are telling me I’m off my rocker. And the health that will come from this pursuit? Will give me a couple more decades to do the things God has called me to do.
Not a bad deal after all.
So I’ve decided that for a Birthday gift this year, I am going to give Jesus my fear. I don’t know what it will look like—maybe wrap up a stinkbug as a symbolic gesture? I’m sure He’d LOVE that.
And what about you my friends? What gift will you give him this year?