The little, red-haired guy stood there looking straight into my eyes, taunting me to do it.
So I did. He quickly spun around, chased it down and brought it back to me.
Oscar’s a good dog.
Every time I tossed the toy across the living room, no matter where it went, he retrieved it. I had to initiate the end of the game because the little guy would have kept at it for hours despite the dark hallways and air vents near the toy landing zone.
For the first year or so of Oscar’s life, he was abused. We don’t exactly how he was abused, but from the way he behaves, it impacted him deeply. Something about those dark hallways and the big, white air vent clearly frighten him. I can only imagine what he’s been through, but he was luckily saved and is now with my parents.
The extent of his abuse nowadays is limited to not having a blanket at times to sleep under, and he may…I repeat….may be a little squeezed when he nestles between my dad’s leg and the side of the lounge chair…under a blanket of course.
Last week while visiting my parents, Oscar and I got in a lot of quality time, mostly involving a squeaky toy. I tossed it. He retrieved it and made me fight him to get it back. It was great fun and quite amusing. I’ve never seen a dog literally hop on something with its front paws to secure it. Hilarious!
It also reminded me of a conversation I had with a coworker recently about living your why and goal setting to activate it. It was a short chat, but she said two words that hung with me. “It’s scary.”
For some us, it sure is. We’ve cruised through life with bruises to show for it in the form of sub-par relationships, mounting debt, low confidence, a job we hate and waning faith. And all of a sudden, we decide we’re tired of life happening to us. We seek help, get energized and educated, form a plan of attack and then it happens. Fear. Paralyzing fear. We begin to question ourselves.
What if I can’t change? What if what I’m doing is wrong? Maybe what they said all those years ago about me was right. What if this is all I’m capable of? What if I fail?
The simple and honest answer is this. You may fail. The thing is no business owner ever earned that position by shunning decisions. No alcoholic ever beat the addiction by continuing to drink. No married couple struggling to stay that way ever saved their marriage without changing something. No person ever changed their position in life by remaining in the same position.
Fear is a natural human characteristic. But so is resolve. And tenacity. And the ability to overcome fear to achieve.
Life is full of dark hallways and air vents. Unlike Oscar though, we can save ourselves and we have our God.
The Bible says, “The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” Psalms 18:2
Fear is just fear. Fear has no rock or fortress or deliverer. It has no ever-faithful God. It is only fear.
Be strong. Take the next step. You have a refuge, a shield, a horn, a stronghold.
Question: Has fear kept you from achieving a goal?