The two are pretty much cousins. When I first graduated from High School, I had a lot of fear. Where would I go? What would I do? What would I major in? Da, da, daaaa!!
Truth is, we all have fears. I have a fear of closed spaces. Quite personally, though, I’d rather be buried alive in a coffin than put in a place of change. Change is my biggest ally and enemy. If you’re like me, maybe you’re a homebody. Maybe you like the comforts of home, the familiarity of predictable routine and like in Cheers, a place where everybody knows your name. Maybe you get nervous when meeting new people, or worse, you go shy!
I’m not here to judge. I feel your pain.
Fear is a gripper. It’s pure E-V-I-L. From a Christian perspective, let’s be honest, fear has no place in the life of a believer. Besides the wise and humble “fear of God,” as a Christian, you need not fear a thing. But the world is not full of the fearless, is it?
But what of regret?
We all have regrets. If you’ve lived for more than ten seconds in this big bad world, you have regret. Part of the human experience is living and learning. Sometimes, the only way we can learn something, we have to make mistakes. Sometimes, even, we are lucky enough to learn from the experiences of others. Parents, grandparents, siblings, even friends can share the wisdom they’ve gained from making a mistake in the past.
So then we are face with a classic question; which is worse? Fear or Regret? Well, fear can be counteracted with bravery, support, excitement and prayerful faith. Regret sinks in like an Albatross. There are things I personally regret that make me openly wince when I think of them.
When it comes to being in the place in life that we are now, we fear sometimes the future, and regret not doing the things we wished we might have tried. We’re rarely rewarded for being cautious and predictable. The brave and the bold make it in the world, trying new adventures, failing and trying again. So what is a girl (or guy) to do?
Do not be fearful. Be fierce. Oh, yes, SO very easy, huh? Well, if it were easy, it would not be worth doing. The Fierce are not fearless, they inspire fear in fear itself. When you are fierce, fear itself flees. Before you is your future. At this time, we have more years in front of us than we do behind. It’s a magical, beautiful time, full of opportunity and adventure. This is a time when we learn more about ourselves, as individuals, outside of the family, the hometown, the local home church. It is a time when we get to find out the type of person we are, and what we love or might want to change about ourselves.
Fear holds us back. It keeps us from taking opportunities, trying new things, being our own people and really stretching ourselves so we may know our limits, strengths and weaknesses and realize new dreams, passions and talents. But none of this can truly be realized if we are too fearful to learn.
Anything worth doing will be difficult. Anything worth doing is risky. There will always be a chance that you may not succeed at something. But the things you will regret the most will not be the failures, but the missed opportunities…the moments to truly learn and grow.
So what’s your worst enemy? Fear? Or Regret?
I challenge you to dive into your life. Explore your strengths and wisdom. Try new things. Fail. Learn. Grow. Succeed. Raise your expectations of today and tomorrow.
Dare to dream. Dare to Live.