“What happens if you get scared half to death twice?”
― Steven Wright
"Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful."
John 14:27, nasv
I just got off a roller coaster with my family. I am not ashamed to say that I embarrassed them. See, I have a love-hate relationship with roller coasters. And I have vertigo. This has never been a fun thing for me as I have had to mentally weigh every ride as I approach it in an amusement park trying to remember if I have barfed on it at in the past, whose shoes I hurled upon, etc etc. I would avoid them altogether ... except that I (and I do not know why) kind of enjoy the fear. And, of course, I scream.
I scream a lot. And it isn't the Wow-this-is-fun-and-spooky-but-I-love-it Fear; it is the Jack-Torrence-is-coming-at-me-with-a-hatchet Fear. And ... well, it's not pretty. However, it IS pretty ... awful.
When I get off a roller coaster (usually smiling and laughing, happy that it's over yet ready to do it again) the people around me are either laughing or looking at me like I have green goo suddenly seeping out of all orifices in my head. My husband, who was experiencing it with me the entire time, couldn't stop giggling at my fear experience. I was so bad I think my younger son considered walking stealthily behind another family in order to to separate himself from me; my teenager couldn't stop shaking his head. I am not exaggerating. And it is not like everyone else's scream on a coaster ... I mean, roller coasters don't have a control lever in the car just for me, man!
I scream like I am ... truly. going. to die.
It's kinda weird.
Okay, that's enough about screaming. And you already know I'm actually talking about life anyway, don't you? So you probably already get the idea I'm going with ...
I am sure I am not the first person who has ever considered roller coasters as a philosophy of life, so I'm not even trying to say something new and profound. I just want to have a rational sense of fear about those UNKNOWNS in life as opposed to a fear that interferes with my happiness or sense of security. I do not want them to affect my ability to function successfully. I just want to be honest about being terrified ... and move on.
I also do know that the best results come from knowing something is scary, but doing it anyway. For example,
asking that person to marry you
the job interview
going through a dark alley to get to that awesome jazz joint (I know my city isn't the only place that has that!)
or ... *deep breath*... roller coasters
This list for you may have a few added fears.
Dale Carnegie once said “do the thing you fear and continue to do so. This is the quickest and surest way of all victory over fear.” Along those same lines, Eleanor Roosevelt wisely encouraged all of us to “do one thing every day that scares you.” One of my blog mentors Ruth Soukup, much like Eleanor Roosevelt's advice very simply tells me and her other students to just, "Do it scared!"
I am actually really bad at this, and that's why I'm telling YOU. Whenever I have been on a roller coaster, I have disembarked smiling and laughing even though fear had just recently escaped me in a blood-curdling scream. I think my walk into the afterlife will be like much like getting off a coaster, but Jesus already "gets" it because, much like my smiling husband, he has been sitting beside me the entire time.
And you know, after it is over, I hope when He looks at me ... He can't stop giggling.