I do a lot of things that seem to scare other people. I run this blog; I think up ideas and put them forward in public in a context where I invite criticism on them, I risk falling flat on my face and looking stupid as I do so. I engage in this blog and on other blogs under my real name. I willingly engage in public speaking, I willingly engage in public debate on topics as polarising as religion, homosexuality and abortion – and I do so not just on the internet but in public venues and in print media, radio, television, you tube. I chose as my career a role that sees me take my ideas and arguments and present them in court several times a week where they are vigorously tested and ruled on by a judge; if I get it wrong things like people’s safety and the custody of their children and their rights and freedoms and financial means are at stake.
To me this is all normal and I thrive on it. I recently applied for and was auditioned for New Zealand’s Hottest Home Baker, I am a good cook and the challenges the show presents plus the opportunity to test my skills appealed. After I wrote that I had an audition for the show, one of my Facebook friends asked “does nothing scare you?” The question made me think, particularly today in the wake of having just yesterday read someone else’s thoughts on me and this issue. So this is my answer.
I am aware that people think I am strange for being drawn to these types of activities – they are probably right.
I am aware that people think I must be left-brained and have an A-type personality and am probably part-Aspie, like the males in my family – they are probably right.
But when people think that I find doing the above easy, that I am not scared, that I feel no fear, that my confidence is such that I do not doubt, and that the knocks I take, the criticism, the vitriol, the anger, the slander that is sometimes directed at me does not hurt me or cause me distress – they are wrong.
I am always struggling with being scared, fearful, plagued with doubts, sometimes frozen in indecision as I do the above. The criticism rattles me, the vitriol, anger and slander wounds me. Some days I crack. I freeze. In the worst instances I shut down and feel utterly flat, despondent and I get all weepy for hours or even a day or so and wonder how I can go on and see out an argument or a debate or a case and why I started it in the first place. Insecurities creep in and plague my mind. I am not tough and I am not thick skinned. So why do I look like I am?
Two scriptures are firmly entrenched in my mind, my being, and have been for a long time – ever since I came to terms with and began to accept that I am wired differently and that being that way is ok:
“From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.” Luke 12:48b
“Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Matthew 10:28
The knowledge that I can push myself beyond what I feel, if I feel I should, and that when I do I am able to sometimes achieve things that are important to be achieved for a purpose more important than me is why I do it. I fear God more than men, but make no mistake: I fear. Because I know He has enabled me to be able to act competently and that He expects me to do so where it is right to, I act, but it does not mean that doing this is easy nor does it mean that I do not pay a price or feel the slings and arrows. I am human; like everyone else, I bleed.
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