Running Scared

Have you ever been moving toward something and at some point you stop moving forward, paralyzed by fear? I remember one early morning run with some friends. We were training for the Chicago Marathon and often started our runs at 4:30 in the morning in order to be finished before time to get the kids off to school and head to work. At that time of the morning it is very, very dark, so we each wore a light of some kind. On one particular morning we started our run, and I was a bit ahead of the pack. I was enjoying the last minutes of the night sky and listening to the early morning sounds when I reached the road that ran through the rock quarry. I had run that road on dozens of other occasions, but on this particular morning I stopped at the head of the road, frozen. I was afraid. I had my light, but it didn’t give me comfort. I kept telling myself there was nothing to be afraid of, but telling myself not to be afraid was not doing any good. I already WAS afraid.

Shortly after I reached the quarry road my friends caught up to me, and found me waiting.  I explained that for some reason on this morning I was afraid to go down the road. They said, “We’ll go together.”  Exactly what I needed to hear.  How often we think we have to go it alone.  God did not intend for us to be alone in this world.  From the very beginning in the book of Genesis He said, “It is not good for man to be alone.  I will make a helper suitable for Him.”  So why do we do it?  Why do we think that every time we face an obstacle we have to conquer it on our own?  Part of it is pride.  Ouch.  We don’t want people to think we are weak or incapable.  Part of it is habit.  We’ve handled things on our own for so long that we don’t even think to ask for help.  Part of it is fear of rejection.  What if nobody will help?  You may have your own reasons for going it alone, and maybe it has worked for you so far.  I challenge you, the next time you are facing a dark quarry road to put aside your pride, your habits, your fear of rejection, and whatever else and reach for someone’s hand and ask them to walk with you.

My friends and I came to the end of the quarry road together and finished our run that morning.  My fear didn’t keep me paralyzed.   Mission accomplished.


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