“I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.” Frank Herbert - DUNE
Spring break was a pretty busy time at the Ryberg household. Projects around the house mixed with activities to keep the young one busy. One of the biggest accomplishments: Kaitlyn learned to ride her bike. Now she will tell you it took her two days. In reality this has been a multi-year process which involved an enormous amount of frustration on her father’s part.
The one issue that evoked many tears on Kaitlyn’s part and sighs of exasperation on mine was simply fear. Fear of crashing. Fear of getting hurt. Fear of not being able to stop. So as we began anew, I sat her down on the bike and told her one thing: you have to commit to riding. You cannot be hesitant or indecisive. As we started slowly with me gently holding her seat, she began a quiet manta: I am committed. Over and over she repeated those words. I am committed. In less than 10 minutes, she had successfully gone from non-rider to traversing a quarter of the church parking lot alone (well, with me running alongside cheering). The next day we headed out again and she was riding in circles around me. As we headed to the car to go home, Kaitlyn strutted with a grin from ear to ear. And her next words stuck with me, ”Dad, that was so easy. I have no idea why I was so scared.” I could only chuckle to myself.
Fear. Everyone one of us wrestle with fear. Fear becomes an all-consuming force that eats away at our ability to live. It breaks down our relationships. Fear cripples our ability to use the gifts God has so graciously given. Fear causes us to stop relying on God and all that He has promised us. Jesus understood fear. Throughout the Gospels, Jesus talks about overcoming fear more often than He talks about loving God and each other.
"I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.” -Dune
We have a wondrously forgiving and gracious God. He protects us, guides us and desires on the best for us. We too often get distracted or frozen by or fears. Instead, maybe we just need to take up three simple words: I am committed.