Fearing the right things

Franklin D. RooseveltContrary to popular belief– I do have fears.

Every day I ride my bike to work, I’m fearful of getting hit by a car.

When I’m out bodyboarding, I’m fearful of getting killed by a shark.

When my kids are late coming out of school, I’m fearful that something happened to them.

I have the same fears as everyone else. I recognize that there are things with which it is healthy to have fear.

But I refuse to be defined by my fears

Fears are often irrational. I’ve got a pretty slim chance of getting hit by a car, or killed by a shark, or that my kids will be kidnapped from their school.

That’s the rational reality.

So, I chose to not have my life defined by paralyzing fear of those things.

I have no fear of opportunity

The lens of fear is the wrong lens to judge an opportunity. You can’t worry about failure. You can’t worry about getting emotionally hurt. You can’t worry if people will like you. And you can’t worry about what people will think if you say yes or say no.

You need a better lens than that. You need a level head to determine whether an opportunity is good for you or not.

I often say no to ideas presented to me. But I never allow fear to be a part of the equation.


Deep down I know that I shouldn’t fear what could happen if something goes wrong. Instead, I fear what could happen if I don’t try.

As Franklin D. Roosevelt said, standing before the world on his inauguration day. With everything to fear– from wars on two continents looming, a depression lasting nearly a decade, and even his private battle with paralysis:

The only thing we have to fear is fear itself. listen






One response to “Fearing the right things”

  1. Walt Mueller Avatar

    You caught my eyes and ears on this one Adam. . . just the mention of “the bike!” Which, of course, has gotten me thinking alot about fear, pain, suffering, etc. The great thing about it all is when and if God chooses to allow us to face our fears by realizing our fears, we fall into His arms and experience that promised measure of sufficient-grace. . . and the growth that follows. I’ve been trying to find a simple way to put into words what God has been teaching me over the last three months. So far, this is what I’ve come up with – “I flew over my handlebars and into the arms of a loving and merciful God.” So, your commentary on fear is timely for me. Today it’s been 13 weeks since that all happened. And at 2pm – the time! – I’m going to be climbing on my bike for the first time since then, and I’m going to ride around the block. I’ve been planning this for a couple of days. Should be fun! 10 weeks ago I would have told you I’m never going to ride again.

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