Two years ago I went up to the mountains in Northern Arizona for a day of skiing. (Yes, it DOES snow here.)
I skied sporadically through high school and college, but never frequently enough to push myself. Although I had managed to make it down some runs without breaking a bone or incurring a concussion, I would not consider myself an expert by any means.
When I took to the slopes that Spring, I was skiing with a family who was pretty much raised on the mountain. I was nervous and trying feverishly to keep up with a teenage boy and his mother. I took two runs doing pretty well before we jumped on a new lift. I was thankful to have a moment to take in my surroundings and enjoy the experience. But halfway up the lift B turned to me and mentioned that this might not be the correct lift for the run we were intending to take. He was correct. When we reached the top I discovered the only way down was a black run. Inside I was panicking. Not only was I going to break every bone in my body, but surely I would also lose every piece of personal dignity I had worked so diligently to preserve that day. My friends tried to encourage me by letting me know we would stay clear of moguls, but that didn’t really help me in that moment.
I was doing fine for about the first five minutes, and then we came to the steepest portion of the run. My immediate thought was “No way. No in-the-heck-way. I’m not doing this.” As my two skiing companions headed down, I had a discussion with myself that seemed to go on forever but probably lasted less than five seconds. I made the decision that I would never let fear be a reason for holding me back during this life. After all, the most frequent commandment in the Bible is “do not fear.” I will let common sense be a factor, but not fear.
I bent my knees, hugged the mountain, said a quick prayer and kept my snow plow at the ready. I was fine, and the feeling at the bottom was amazing.
I don’t expect to wake up tomorrow ready to take on the world, but I am taking daily steps towards reckless abandonment in every aspect of my life. I am diligently seeking to discover where a fear of failure rips the courage out from under me. My fear is missing out on the adventurous life God has for me because of my own self-doubt. I’m not holding back. Next time, I’m taking the moguls.
So the question is… what’s holding you back?