My Grandfather used to say “The secret to conquering your fear, is a better knowledge what your fear.”
For my cousin, it was spiders that would cause an almost paralytic trance that rendered her virtually statuesque. I remember once watching every muscle in her body tense up as she unleashed a barrage of ear-piercing screams with her eyes focused on a granddaddy long-leg spider sitting in the corner of her bedroom. Even after the spider had been removed, she did not sleep in her room for days, still paralyzed with fear.
My grandfather’s answer…knowledge. First it was an understanding of II Timothy 1:7, then we went to the library and got “The Big Book of Spiders” and everyday that summer we learned something new about the different spiders in the book. As our knowledge increased about which spiders were and were not dangerous, where the worst ones were located and how to recognize them, you could see a level of comfort settle in. By the end of the summer we would go on “backyard safaris” in search of pretty much anything weird and finally spiders no longer spoiled the fun. She still didn’t like spiders, but she would tolerate them. Knowledge was truly the antidote to her condition of fear.
I like the way Mark Twain said it when talking about courage, he said “Courage is the resistance to fear, mastery of fear – not the absence of fear.” This is what my grandfather was trying to teach my cousin and me, the mastery of fear. Yes, fear is a part of life, but it is your response to fear that determines whether you become a slave or a master to it. Whether it is the fear of spiders, change, another race or culture or death one of the greatest remedies remains the same…knowledge.
Often unchecked fear leads to failure, not always because we didn’t succeed at something, but in that we never tried to accomplish something in the first place. It is amazing how many people live their lives afraid of things that may never happen. Listen…you only have one ticket to life’s roller coaster ride so jump on and when you face a twist, a loop or free fall drop that tries to grip you with a paralyzing fear, tighten your seat belt with knowledge, throw your hands in the air and enjoy the ride! Be Blessed.