I watched a child in the mall yesterday as she was kicking and screaming. Her parents were trying their best to calm her down.
I also watched the people passing by them. Some shook their heads and saw the child as a spoiled, "give me what I want now," child. Others paused and offered a few kind words to both the child and parents.
"You're such a beautiful little girl. Such a beautiful girl shouldn't cry," one lady said.
"Don't be so sad. We all have bad days," added another.
"I think she's a spoiled brat," I heard one whisper to a friend.
None of themwere right. The child was neither spoiled nor having a bad day.
She was afraid.
The parents told me afterwards that someone carrying a coat scared her. She's afraid of dogs. The coat looked like a big dog.
They went on to explain that it is a challenge for them to go places. Friends have dogs, neighbors nearby walk their dogs down the street.
So, you can imagine what it's like to try to get through a day without sending your child into a panic.
I can remember, as a child walking up the steps at night I would get the feeling that someone or some thing was going to grab my feet. So, I ran most of the time.
I'll admit that occasionally as an adult I do the same thing.
Fear - what you fear the most in life, owns you, controls you, limits you.
I struggle with the fear of heights, but I fight it. My wife sent me off in a glider on my 60th birthday. I was fine. I was better than fine, I was great!
If I could have one foolish child-like wish come true it would be to have the ability to fly like a bird.
The truth is fear can be debilitating. Fear cripples many, limits abilities to enjoy even the simplest things in life and in some cases stops people from having medical procedures that could prevent major health issues.
Fear also crushes dreams.
Sometimes our own fears are imposed on others around us affecting their views and impacting their ability to live life fully ... all in the name of love, concern and good parenting.
Someone once used the acronym F.E.A.R as False Evidence Appearing Real.
I'm not sure that applies to all fear. One might have had a bad experience with a dog and now that fear is real, relevant in their lives.
But, I think the kind of fear I believe we can deal with is the fear that reinforces doubt.
In particular poor self image issues either self imposed or wrongfully fed to you by others in your life or the world in general.
Fear and doubt are enemies of faith. They are the enemy that you permit to control your decisions, even when you declare your faith in God.
You give them power over you. The enemy doesn't want you to be happy, successful, or faithful. The enemy wants you to fail and stay there. Why?
Because successful, happy, healthy people give credit for their happiness to God even when they face their fears they declare their belief in the God who fears nothing.
"Fear prevents, faith prevails!"
by Bob Perks - an inspirational author and speaker