Stumbling Block vs. Stepping Stone

Ever feel like you’re afraid of fear?

It scares me how strongly my fear can feel and how easily it can keep me from moving forward in an area of my life, from keeping me from saying something that might benefit someone, to keeping me from trying something new.   It bothers me how my fear can keep me from faith and stepping out into a bit of unknown.

Of course, it is necessary in times to have fear when we need that response in our bodies to be careful and alert like staying away from a burning stove (I am not too into the science behind that, but I’m sure you can learn more about that in other places). The component I want to touch on here is that fear can force to remember why we’re doing what we’re doing. 

For example, when I’m afraid to go and have a conversation for the first time with a coach, I can ask myself and God, “What am I really afraid of here?”  Recently, this happened, and my realization was that I was afraid he may not accept that I know what I’m doing/talking about or that the organization I work for is valuable. Basically, I was afraid he’d just write me and FCA off in a quick swoop.

The thing is, by my taking that step to meet him, there was a potential for that.  Fear is trying to show us that our comfort zone is a better place, filled with all of the known places and predictability than the potential for rejection/whatever we’re afraid of.  But do we ever fully experience God and a life in deep relationship and ministry to and with others without leaving that place?

I think not.

So it’s good for me to be aware of that fear, and in that instance, my awareness led me to force myself to remember: If this coach rejects me/FCA, then there’s nothing I can do about that.  I am not here to be accepted but to serve and support.  If that is not received then it is not my place to control it or to take it personally.  I can learn from this conversation/this relationship no matter what happens and I can give what I have.

“The only difference between stumbling blocks and stepping stones is how you use them.”

What fear of a step into something are you seeing as a stumbling block vs. a stepping stone?  With a stepping stone perspective, any situation or conversation can be a step forward in better understanding yourself, God, and others.

Nelson Mandela once said, “I never lose.  I either win or learn.” In other words, if your fear “comes true,” you can still learn something from that situation and grow.  If you win aka achieve what you’re looking to achieve by stepping out, then great!

Have a stepping stone Monday!

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