Fearful…Relax…Find a Hobby
As the boys sat on their little blue chairs and the girls sat on the little pink ones, I can remember my Sunday school teacher telling us that we had nothing to fear. She opened her bible and she read:
“The Lord is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life, of whom shall I be afraid?” Psalm 27:1 NIV.
Being only in the fourth grade, I was having trouble understanding what exactly she just read, but like every other student in the class, I was too afraid to raise my hand and ask any questions. Besides, we all knew that when we started asking questions our snack time suffered. What fourth grader would want their snack time to suffer?
I remember joining my parents in the sanctuary that day and briefly hearing the pastor talk about the same scripture that we had just discussed the hour before. I sat up and listened until my fourth grade mind started to wonder. I tried to remember what bible verse my teacher had read us and reached for the bible in the pew. The bible slid through my hands making a thump as it crashed to the floor. My father glared at me as I bent over to pick it up. Unfortunately I thumped my head on the pew in front of me and made my sister laugh. Now both parents were giving me that look. You know the “wait till you get home” look.
Now turn the clock ahead almost forty years. Married with three children, the fear list has expanded almost as much as my waistline. Several times a week I take a look at Psalm 27:1 and look to Jesus to help me through my grownup fears. I often find comfort knowing He is always there for me, but to often I remain fearful and tense.
My wife convinced me that I should get a hobby. Something I would like to do that would help me relax. I sat down one day and made a list. I like woodworking, but skydiving or anything that dealt with airplanes was out. I liked to write, but when I talked of a motorcycle, my wife’s fear list seemed to grow. I settled on writing. I have always liked to write stories with a good Christian message. I had never been serious about my writing and had shared it with very few people until one day I found a website about Christian writers.
I found Faithwriters, a website that was dedicated to helping Christian writers develop their skills and share their work. I was hooked; let the relaxation begin, I thought to myself. I would sit and write about stuff that was on my heart. I opened up a completely new prayer time with God asking Him to help me with His word. Then it happened, after submitting several devotionals, I found the Writing Challenge. What an opportunity this offers to an amateur like me. Excitedly I waited until Thursday morning to find out what the new topic would be.
After reading the topic, thinking, and praying awhile I started my first writing challenge. After I was finished, I ran my spell check and word count only to find I was almost two hundred words over the seven hundred and fifty maximum word count. My heart sunk into my stomach and fear creep in as I started to edit the words. I submitted my first article and started to second-guess myself. Daily I checked my entry and read other entries in my category. I was impressed with the writing abilities people were displaying. After reading other articles my fear started to grow. Was I really up for the writing challenge?
Then I got my first comment. Nothing bad, in fact the lady was very kind. I jumped from my chair and summoned my wife from the kitchen.
“Read the comment after my story Honey”
She leaned over the computer and smiled as she read it.
“I told you that was a good story,” she said with a big kiss on my cheek.
Weekly I have entered every challenge since that first time. With all the comments, good or bad I write fearfully for my Lord. With God’s help, I hope my funny stories will help someone along the way. As for me, I will, “Serve the Lord with fear and rejoice with trembling. Psalm” 2:11 NIV.
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