I grew up a true 1990s’ kid. The program Saved by the Bell was a weekly staple on TV; “In west Philadelphia born and raised” was sung by everyone; paper-rock-scissors settled all conflicts; I dreamed of “being slimed”; all the cool kids wore Ring Pops; and I predicted my future by playing M.A.S.H..
Those were the good old days when wearing a walkman was cool; TGIF offered hours of great television shows on Friday nights for the entire family; and waking up early on Saturday mornings meant watching amazing cartoons like TMNT and practicing wrestling moves while watching American heroes like Hulk Hogan drop the big leg-drop from the top ropes, all while dressed in a hyper-color “No-Fear” shirt. I was a kid, I could wear that.
Fear. Kids live free of fear. Small children assume someone is always going to catch them when they jump off the counter; that they can float or swim regardless of how deep or big the pool is; and nothing is ever too high or unstable to climb on. Somewhere along the line, however, fear creeps into the vocabulary and as time goes on it becomes an emotion felt on a regular basis.
The good news is, is there is always an antidote to fear. Turn the nightlight on. Look before you leap. Check under your bed to make sure the boogeyman is not hiding there. Or, sit around and be an average adult. For me, nothing says safe like being an “average” adult. Go to college, get a 9-5 job, get married, have a few kids. Get up, go to work, get up, go to work, and repeat day in and day out. Average. Safe. Free from fear….and for me, free from really living.
I have decided it is time to let Hulkamania run wild all over fear in my life. I’m going to leg-drop fear from the top ropes, repeatedly. The only thing I am afraid of now (well besides the dark) is of being average. A 9-5 job with a regular paycheck strikes fear deep inside of me, it is fear of falling into complacency and allowing myself to become too comfortable. I believe we are called to live life with a reckless abandon, to live outside of comfort zones. and to realize God will always provide for us, as is stated repeatedly in the Bible.
Deuteronomy 31:5-6 says “The Lord will deliver them to you, and you must do to them all that I have commanded you. Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you” (Emphasis mine).
God commanded, not recommended or highly implied, but commanded us to go into the entire world and tell people about Him. Sometimes that can be a scary thing to think about.
Lately I have been extremely convicted about taking God’s command to a new level, to leave fear in the past and to kick it in the face when it creeps up on me. I have been homeless, lived in my car, and taken a “bath” in the Walmart bathrooms. I have also had times when I had plenty of provisions and I did not have to worry about money, paying bills, or where I was going to live. I can honestly say I was happier in my relationship and closer to God when I was living in my car. Over the course of the past two years He has done an amazing work in my life and awakened me to Him, both to who He is and to what He expects from me.
The Torch is a huge step for me in body-slamming fear and stepping out in faith. It takes faith to trust people will rally around us - grab our vision and help us finance a food truck. It takes faith to believe we will have enough continuous support to keep the food truck running and enough time to reach out and help people on a consistent basis.
But the food truck is only the beginning for me. I have been called to live with the “least of these” as stated in Matthew 25. For me, this means going on global mission trips, living simply so others can simply live, and living a life free from fear and fully dependent on God to provide. For me it means selling all I have and….well you will see…
Stay tuned and until then, remember to drop kick fear when it creeps up on you.
Whatcha gonna do, brother, when fear creeps up on you? (FYI - that was typed with a Hulk Hogan voice - any 1990s' kid and wrestling fan gets it.)