“Few places in this world are more dangerous than home. Fear not, therefore, to try the mountain passes. They will kill care, save you from deadly apathy, set you free, and call forth every faculty into vigorous, enthusiastic action.”-John Muir
Tomorrow I fly to San Diego to begin my five month hike on the Pacific Crest Trail. What!? You guys. It’s happening.
As the departure date approaches, it seems each conversation is saturated with questions about the trail. To each friend that has taken interest in this hike, thank you thank you!! It is your affirmation and avidity that has helped get me to Mexico, and will help get me to Canada.
In these conversations, I began to pick up on a question that nearly all have asked: “What is your biggest fear?”
While it’s a valid question I can only attribute to the rigor of the Trail, it demands my attention. The first few times I would stutter, making something up on spot- “Ummm, the snow in the Sierra. It’s a really crazy year. Record, actually.”
As I received the question more and more, I became a little more articulate and creative with my response:
“Water,” I would say.
Boom. This answer covers a multitude of anxieties!!
Dehydration? Not enough water. High rivers? Too much water. Snow? Fancy water. Thunderstorms? Water and friends.
I was reminded that humans have an intimate relationship with fear. And I’m not talking about roller coaster butterflies, first date jitters, nor the fear that leads us into complete, knee-dropping reverence. I’m talking about the overwhelming, nitty gritty fear that leads to inaction and passivity.
We allow this force to control the way we interact with strangers, how we approach jobs, navigate hearts' desires, and deal with tough conversations.
We are afraid of change, leading to expiration and stagnation. We are afraid of people who look different than us, breeding division and callused hearts. We are afraid of virtual friends and unliked photos, spurring comparison and self-doubt. We are afraid of political systems and current events, blinded of a greater hope.
Basically, we’re scaredy cats. Let’s stop that. Paul writes in 2 Timothy,
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”
SNAPS TO THAT.
Friends, I am not afraid of hiking Pacific Crest Trail. Please join me in being without fear, built up in hope, endurance and love. Dance in uncertainty. Enjoy the trials. We are capable of so much more without fear speaking to our sails.