Friday, January 18, 2008

Soaring - Exchanging my Doctorate of Fear for Faith

What do you do well? In what areas do you excel? I came to the sad realization recently that I have joined many people in becoming a professional of my fears! In fact, I'd go as far as to say, I've received my Doctorate in the area of fear.

"Sometimes I wonder about my life. I lead a small life, well, valuable, but small, and sometimes I wonder, do I do it because I like it, or because I haven't been brave? So much of what I see reminds me of something I've read in a book, when shouldn't it be the other way around." That quote comes from a movie I watched recently, but the words echoed in my heart.

I was thinking about the fears I have in my life especially my fear of flying and of heights. I'm a white-knuckle airline traveler. I don't sit up in a balcony. I don't like elevators. I don't even wear high heeled shoes! I prefer to keep my feet on the ground at all times. I'm not extremely adventurous. I don't take risks. Lately I've noticed how these fears have spilled over in my spiritual life and I'm afraid to 'mount up with wings as eagles' and soar to heights with Christ.

While vacationing in Florida with my family last fall, I suggested we try the new 'Soaring' ride at Epcot. I guess I really didn't know what was ahead of me - and I later understood both the look of sheer shock that appeared on my husband's face when I mentioned that we try this attraction, and the speed in which he quickly raced us towards the ride before I could change my mind.

When our 'flight attendant' came out to give us last minute instructions and those wonderful warnings and health risks, I could feel my pulse begin to beat faster. What on earth was I doing here? To afraid to move, I found myself being pushed forward by all the other passengers as the doors opened and we were seated in our 'gliders'. We were asked to firmly secure handbags, caps, and loose articles in a compartment below our seats, and then a 'steward' came around to ensure that we were all tightly fastened and belted in. My heart was racing so quickly at this point, I just began to pray that God would help me endure this ride and get me off safely. I was seated between my husband and my 13 year old son who were both trying to reassure me how much fun I was going to have on this ride.

Suddenly lights dimmed and our 'glider' began to rise. As gusts of wind began to take my breath away, my hands flew to my face to cover my mouth and nose and I shut my eyes tightly. This is how I remained for most of the ride. Occasionally I took little peaks out between fingers still firmly placed over my face, and saw glimpses of spectacular views.

Finally, the ride came to an end and I realized I was still alive - I had survived.

As we left this attraction God began to speak quietly to my heart. "Joy, I want you to do more than survive life. I want you to live it to the full. I want you to mount up with wings like eagles. I want you to soar". As this ride was called, "Soaring" - I suddenly turned to my husband and said, "Let's do that again". He looked at me strangely. He knew I had hated every second of that experience, but I said, "This time, I want to keep my eyes wide open".

What a thrill this second time around was for me. I don't want to go through life with my eyes closed. I want to live the adventure. We are held hostage and paralyzed by the things that frighten us. There is a children's book that asks the reader to 'imagine a day when you don't need wings to soar'. A song I heard recently has lyrics that say, "It's time for you to fly. It's time to soar on eagles wings. Don't be afraid you're not alone, so lift your head up high. It's time for you to fly". God has designed us to live life fully and Christ came to enable us to live out that design. Christ will empower us to live an abundant life. Are you tapping in to all the power that God has made available to you? Have you made personal all that God has made possible?

God has been telling me that it's time for me to fly...and the great thing is...I don't have to put one foot on an airplane to do so. I just need to surrender myself to the arms of Christ and He'll carry me to heights unknown.

"Those who wait upon God get fresh strength. They spread their wings and soar like eagles" Isaiah 40:31 (The Message)

Will you come and fly with me?

PS. I'm now in the School of Prayer, working on my Doctorate of faith. It's a life-time course, but the Professor never leaves you or forsakes you - and He even offers to supply all the answers and write every exam. When Graduation Day comes I want to hear Him say, "Well done".


Celly B said...

What an inspiring story! Thanks for sharing with us.

ma said...

I will fly with you. I can relate to many aspects of your story. Thanks for sharing. Since fear is the abscence of faith, I too am on a journey to replace fears with faith. God bless, Michelle

Heather@Mommymonk said...

How cool to experience soaring on eagle's wings (though I'm not sure I would enjoy it the first time around either!)

Amy Wyatt said...

This is a great post! Fear and Faith is a topic I am very interested in. I'm glad you opened your eyes and are "soaring' along with God.