Archive for the ‘Money’ Category

Wisdom or Fear?


I couldn’t let this opportunity slip by.   Today, some notes on a very personal struggle with fear.

When you are young, wisdom and fear speak in unison for so long that it can be hard to hear their individual voices.  Don’t touch – hot!  Stay away from the edge, you could fall.  Don’t go hurdling down that hill on your bike.  Don’t talk to strangers.  Say no to drugs.  Don’t hang out with that crowd.  Don’t drink.  Don’t drink and drive.

But at some point, you have survived to adulthood and the voices are no longer speaking in unison.

Wisdom:  It is time to move on.
Fear:   I don’t go places I’m not familiar with.  I’m staying.

Wisdom:  That door just opened.  You should walk through it.
Fear:   What if it leads somewhere bad?  Just walk on by and ignore the open door.

In a heart to heart with your dad a few years ago, we shared the things we are most afraid of.  Strangely, my greatest fear has been that we would have some financial catastrophe – or make a big mistake – and be completely bankrupt.  His response was, “Really?  That’s your greatest fear?  Why?  Where did that even come from?”

The last year’s events have inspired the search for that answer.  Traipsing through my own history, I came upon a crack in my long-held values.   Through the tinted goggles of recent events, I am surprised to see that what I have historically boasted as Wisdom, was often just Fear, smartly dressed.

(Wisdom!  Fear!  I’m separating you two.  And I want to hear both sides of the story.)

Fear – of financial failure – started when I was itty-bitty by praising my frugality.  “You should be proud of yourself for not spending your money today,” Fear would say.  But as I became more friendly with Fear and listened to it all the more, it’s voice began to change.  Even as I write, I wrestle with Fear, who is reminding and judging me for any mistake I have ever made, every over-priced candy bar I bought at the checkout line, every time I paid ATM fees instead of driving across town to my bank.  Fear calls me lazy.  Fear tells me to be ashamed.  Fear says I am wasting my time if I am not contributing financially.  Fear sneakily spurs me to judge others.   Fear calls me undeserving of gifts.  Fear accuses me of being reckless.   Fear tells me to stop in my tracks before I make one. more. mistake.   I notice now that a piece of me is frozen, at the command of Fear.

Last week, I gave Fear the floor and I said some things that I regret.  Today – glorious today – I am giving Wisdom a chance for rebuttal.

Wisdom:  You stand here, on a precipice.  Looking over the edge, of what life could be if you could find the courage to leave Fear behind.  Behind you is land of sparse vegetation and the path is narrow.   You have gone only the places Fear has permitted.    The land deep below is filled with streams and pools of water, with springs flowing in the valley and hills, a land with wheat and barley, vines and fig trees, pomegranates, olive oil and honey; a land where bread will not be scarce and you will lack nothing.   That is where you are called to go.
Me:        Fear wants me to stay where I am.
Wisdom:    You have stayed long enough at this mountain.

Me:        I’m not sure I know how to leave Fear behind.
Wisdom:    Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and mind, and strength.  Perfect love casts out fear;  love always protects, always trusts, always hopes.

Me:   Fear, you’re going to have to sit this one out.
God:  Ready to fly?  (I’ve been waiting for this moment.)

My sweet girl, when you find Fear, call it out and send it away.  “For God did not give us the spirit of fear, but a spirit of power, love and self discipline.” 2 Timothy 1:7

Fearless today,

My inspiration:  Deuteronomy 8:7-9, Deuteronomy 1:6, Deuteronomy 6:5, 1 Cor 13:7, 1 John 4:18