A much criticized man of an earlier time, and rightly so I must add, Ralph Waldo Emerson stated, “He who is not every day conquering some fear has not learned the secret of life." Ralph Waldo Emerson.
Many of the joys of my life have resulted from trusting the Lord Jesus and overcoming fears. I recall thinking I could be the poster boy for Mark Twain’s famous phrase, “He was afeared.” My name could have read, Larry (afeared) Lilly. I learned a great lesson from an old deacon in the first church I pastored. My now gone home friend said, “Pastor Larry, you gotta get over being afraid of people and opportunities.” I recall having the courage to physically fight, but as a Christian, being terrified of social settings with nice people. Dismayed that I may pick up the wrong fork, or are my clothes the correct ones? I gradually learned the proper attire, but it took a while to be at ease. As to opportunities, I fought the battle almost everyone faces; What if I fail?
A strange twist took place at that particular time. I had so many invitations to speak that it was necessary to travel by air. I was totally petrified of flying. Deacon Joe said, “Now Pastor, you go ahead and look your fear in the eye and fly!” I took it a step further and earned my wings. It wasn’t until I had earned my instrument rating that I began to actually enjoy piloting. A little over 7,000 hours as PIC I still have a deep respect for airplanes, but the fear took the wings of the morning and hasn’t been felt since about 300 hours of PIC. Airplanes are like computers in that they will not do what you want, they only respond to commands, whether the command is the proper one or not. Therefore I have been learning to give the machine, airplane, computer or auto the proper input for the desired result. I have no information on the proper control of spouses.
I suppose my greatest fear, one that I must constantly overcome, is when I am strongly convinced to help some struggling soul, a soul whom the brethren want drawn and quartered, and I pause to think, “they” will do that to me. I must follow what I believe Christ calls for, and take strength from Heb 13:6, “So we may boldly say: The LORD is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?" I do know from figurative experience what man will do to anyone who dares disagree. But Christ smiles.
Copyright © 2015 Larry Lilly
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