My dear fb friends, a number of people recently have discussed their problems with moving forward in life. There is no shame in this, David, an ancient Braveheart, said, “I had fainted, less I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.” Life can take a lot of faith & courage.
Social pressure, rejection, past failures, loneliness, overwhelming fears, & fears of confrontation stifle us, & strengthen inertia to the point some of us need jumped started. This post is to stimulate us to rethink about the monsters we imagine lurk ahead on our paths in life. Man fears the unknown; it can be easier to face the known than the unknown. Study what you face.
We all have to confront fears & take risks, yet Risk Taking 101 was not taught in high school or college. Two groups, snipers & stuntmen regularly confront risks, they do it by getting into their bubble of focus, which consumes their whole attention. Often it can be impractical to focus on dangers when we need to focus on the task at hand. Travelers crossing a particular Swiss mtn. pass are blindfolded & escorted across, because so many are paralyzed by the view of the chasm below.
Part of solving our problems is attitude. Our fears of failure often become self-fulfilling prophecy. Leave the impossible to God, & start in on the possible. As we begin to act, the act of starting will enhance our confidence. Anticipate problems, pray & plan for them & ignore the small ones. Experience builds confidence for the next time. Break the task into chunks, & perhaps list the baby steps. Be clear of the benefit, if there is none for you &/or God’s kingdom, why climb the mountain?
If you take a moral stand, others may not accept it, & it’s unrealistic to think your view will always prevail, but if you hold to it consistently, you have a better chance of keeping it successfully. Taking a stand is healthy, and forces us outside of ourselves. To avoid taking a stand creates a lack of intimacy, so there is a price to pay either way. In fact, one type of cowardice is related to fear of acceptance, which leads to a lack of interpersonal communion, & then becomes a lack of inner tools to resist fear because the focus is so much on one’s own life. Then we have the indecisive, who are afraid of making mistakes, so they make the mistake of letting opportunities escape. When they finally move forward, they vacillate & are inconsistent, leaving “fire exits” open, instead of striding forward in faith.
Our self-image advances w/ age, unless fear prevents it moving forward. As we grow older we are challenged to give up what is incomplete & false within. People are trained from infancy to conform, and if you are different from them, they may reject you. It is their crass neurosis. Move on. Remember, countless great men & women were also rejected. The price for being right is often to stick out from the crowd. Don’t internalize their rejection, move forward in faith w/ God’s love. Next, don’t let those around you who reject you make your choices. Stressed folks can passively let the very people who reject them make their choices.
Of course we can prevent premature rejection, by listening when we meet people & figuring out what they want from us, & then to demonstrate those traits that they see as great. Along this line, enthusiasm, interpersonal skills & awareness of our emotions will go a long way towards getting us acceptance. Walk with confidence.
Everyone has their limits, some have lots of endurance, but no matter what, a pressure cooker will at some point break anyone leaving symptoms of exhaustion, apathy, depression & hopelessness. Long term stress can suck the will & life out of a person. Drained of all willpower, with an empty well of fortitude, a person will snap at anything, the proverbial straw that breaks the camel’s back. The enemy likes to wear us down with tribulation, this lack of fortitude is not cowardice, it’s exhaustion! Our enemy strides around looking for who he can devour. Like wolves that cull out the weak, he will be waiting. This is why we need Christ & our human support systems. We can all reach out & take God’s hand as well as commune with His heart. As it is written, “Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the Lord.” PS 31:24. It certainly worked for David during his life. And in my limited capacity, I will try to be there for you too.