Saturday, September 01, 2012

What are the odds.....putting a new face on fear

I am tired of being swayed by fear. I hesitate to do things because of fear.  It's as though fear has become a habit that happens first when life is played out.  I want to put a new face on my fears.

Before I can do that, I have to put my fears in perspective.

For example, the odds of having my identity stolen are 200 to 1.  That means that I have 1 chance in 200 of someone stealing my identity.  Somehow, I have come to see most statistics from the perspective of the biggest fear.  I tend to think, 'oh no, I have a 200 to 1 chance of this, how horrible' instead of realizing that 1 out of 200 really isn't that big a risk.

Did you know that the odds of striking it rich on Antiques Roadshow are 60,000 to 1?  I actually have a better chance at bowling a 300 game because those odds are only 11,500 to 1.

My chances of getting the flu this year are 1 in 10.  But that also means my chances of NOT getting the flu are 9 in 10.

My chances of finding out my child is a genius are 1 out of 250.  (oops, wait, I beat those odds 3 times....nevermind..)  ;^)

My chance of dying from a shark attack is 1 out of 300,000,000!  However, if you've ever seen Jaws, chances are good that you wonder if it's really safe to swim in the ocean.

I understand that I need to be careful even if the odds are in my favor.  It's not caution that I struggle with, it's fear.  I let the fear of what could happen strangle the joy of the moment.

I'd like to find something to blame that mindset on, like advertising or the media.  But I think it's actually more simple than that.  I think it's human nature.  I think we naturally tend to fear because we can't control.  I think human nature makes us think that we will be that 1 out of 10 or that 1 out of 300,000,000.

So, am I doomed to let fear be my driving force?  Thankfully, no.

I don't think it's a coincidence that the Bible uses the phrase "do not fear" a lot!  If I truly believe there is a God (and I do) and I truly believe He loves me (and I do), then it's up to me to make the choice to not let fear be a driving force.

I can't control the circumstances but I can control how I respond.  I can't control the chances, but I can control my perspective.

So, instead of being afraid of my nightgown catching fire and burning me to death, I will instead be glad that I have a greater risk of being eaten by a California mountain lion.


Mama Eagle said...

If it were not for God helping to control my fear ... I could never do it on my own ... I don't even want to think about the results of me doing my own thing in my own way.

Thank goodness God's perfect love casts out my fears.

Even if I have to ask for it on a daily basis. God never seems to tire of it.

julie said...

beautiful, ruth.

pam said...

whew...don't think I'll worry about my nightgown going up in blazes now either! :) Thanks for a great reminder of the right you!

Anonymous said...

I have been so wrapped up in fear of failure the last two weeks it is miserable. I am miserable. Ridiculous. So then I read this tonight and I am so with you, but the coolest part? I got to the end and literally LOL and meant it. Thank you for sharing and thank you for being a bright spot in a really hard day.

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Longview, Texas
In the autumn of my life, I am very content.