The sermon at church this morning got me to thinking. Derek, our minister, was preaching on evangelism and what's keeping us from it. He asked the question--can you really call yourself a Christian if you never make disciples? To emphasize his point he said, can you really call yourself a fisherman if you never catch fish--even if you know a lot about fishing and you get together with other fishermen like you and talk about all that you know? The main thing I took away from it is what am I afraid of? I don't even know if that's a question he asked, but it was definitely one that was haunting me all day...all the time lately, really.
I am a perfectionist. I don't want to make mistakes (I do, but I don't want to). I'm probably OCD, too. Because of that, I become paralyzed by my fears--namely, failure.
Stupid fear of failure.
It literally paralyzes me. As long as I do nothing then I won't mess up. I'm afraid to get my hands dirty because what if it all backfires and then I'm left cleaning up a mess for what seems like no good reason? I know there's good reason. These are just the crazy thoughts that I have. And I've always been this way. In high school, as yearbook editor, I did away with the ambition section for my senior class because I was afraid to write my dreams down on paper in black and white for all to see for fear that if they never came true someone would know I had failed.
It's not just fear of failure. I'm an anxious person. I like to stay in my comfort zone because anything outside of that is unfamiliar and makes me panic. I'm embarrassed to admit this because when I do you'll know how crippling this is for me and I don't want people to know these things, but it is what it is. We moved here a year ago, and I'm still afraid to go shopping by myself outside of a few places right around us. I don't take Amos outside much by myself because I don't know my neighbors like I knew everyone in Ragland so I can't predict what may happen (as if I ever could, really...and we live in an excellent neighborhood). I check closets and behind shower curtains every time I come home to an empty house. Crazy stuff like that. I KNOW these things are irrational.
I've been to a counselor. I've taken medicine. It helps. But the fear I've been feeling lately isn't something that medicine can take away. I need to cling to The One who goes before me and stands behind me.
I don't agree with Christians who say that if you just loved God more or trusted Him more then you wouldn't experience these things. I think that medicine can most certainly help and that everyone could benefit from seeing a counselor, but in my case right now, I know that those things won't touch the depths of what's keeping me anxious and fearful. I need to fill those depths with God's Word and lean on His promises.
I read a lot about parenting and the bottom line seems to be that there are a lot of ways to go about it, lots of different ideas and methods, but as long as you are becoming more like Christ, then all those other things will work out. I stress over the methods and the ideas when what I really should be focusing on is Christ. I'm missing the forest for the trees.
And so it is with much of my life.
Anyway, the point I wanted to make is that I don't need to focus on evangelism and get all worked up and fearful about that. It's not the main idea (nor is parenting or marriage or whatever else I get consumed by). The main idea is that I need to seek my Savior and be so filled with Him that all areas of my life will be touched by the overflow and there won't be room left for fear. Then I'll be a disciple-maker and a good wife and mama and whatever else.
It's as simple as seek ye first, but I always forget about that when it comes time to make application.
image found here