Fear and its snowball effect

Dave Canovas

Don’t we all all have that kind of fear? Before we could even begin something, our thoughts start to take us miles and miles forward. What if it was a mistake? What if I failed? Am I good enough to do it? What if this relationship could not be repaired?

My FIRST thought when I wake up in the morning has always been very critical in how my day will be like. If it were a nightmare that woke me up, I would try to counter it with a prayer and very deep breaths because I don’t want my day to be that – a nightmare!

At kindy, a child’s first attempt on a monkey bar could be daunting. “I CAN’T do it”, they would often say. A believer that the FIRST step is always a GREAT step, I usually encourage a child just to try that FIRST steel bar and WE could do the rest, in the next minute or the next day. I have highlighted “we” because, it is important for children to know that they are supported every step of the way, that I, an adult they trust, would catch them when they fall, well quite literally. Usually, that strategy works because, in that sense, they do not have to worry yet about the second, third or fourth steel bar which to a child, could be overwhelming. Add to it the thought, of falling into a “black hole”. Quite scary, isn’t it?. The following is an illustration I have conceptualised with Filipino illustrator, JJ Duran, just to depict the idea of children conquering their fears.

Don’t we all all have that kind of fear? Before we could even begin something, our thoughts start to take us miles and miles forward. What if it was a mistake? What if I failed? Am I good enough to do it? What if this relationship could not be repaired? A stream of thoughts come rushing in. All these and we give up even before we could start a business venture, have a shot at promotion at work, have that opportunity to talk at a church event or an opportunity to change our sinful ways.

When this happens, we basically give up our shot at LIFE full of God’s blessings. We give up our sacred chance to use our gifts to heal others, to establish our own company, to sing solo or in a choir, to speak, to write, to repair what is broken (i.e. relationship or a chair) or to love. Yes, some people are quite afraid to love, in a romantic sense, or otherwise. That is our fear snowballing into negative, I-can’t-do-it, thoughts. Don’t worry because we can always find our way out of FEAR.

The key is for us to take that FIRST step. This is why I shared earlier how important that FIRST thought of the day for me is. I always try to make my first thought of the day to be a PRAYER of GRATITUDE. That is the power of the mind. If thoughts of tasks that I need to see done, comes streaming into my sleepy head, I reject it. Oops..I say to myself that I am not ready for that overwhelming to-do list, yet. Right now, right here on our bed, is me thanking God that I could still feel my legs and my arms and that I am still awake and very much alive.

2 Timothy 1:7 reminds us that we can do it “For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control”. Having taken that first step without fear of the future, without any self-doubt, always, we are taken to the second one, the third one and eventually, somewhere else, very far, with our mighty God on our side.

Just how fear could snowball into disaster, our first thoughts of gratitude, faith, hope or love, could shatter lies that FEAR puts into our heads.

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