The Absence of Fear

I have a confession to make. I am secretly afraid of freeways. Well, not all freeways but some of them, and more specifically at some points along the freeway. I feel this way about US-52 in St. Paul as it exits off of 94E going South. That exit is just so narrow and you really can’t see what is going on behind you until you are on the freeway, which can be kind of scary if there is a big semi-truck that you missed.

I also feel this way about the 35W/62 crosstown area over in the Richfield/ Edina area. Maybe I am still getting used to the new design, as they have changed it so much over the years. Needless to say, I get a little weirded out as I travel over there.

Now lets get to 694E as it exits off of 35W. Here it is not the exit that freaks me out but what is just ahead of it. As soon as you get on it, you have to merge to your immediate left if you want to stay on 694. And then, you have to drive on this narrow freeway, with only two lanes over a large body of water. So now, not only am I on this less than favorable freeway, but I am navigating over water (which is another secret fear of mine since I cannot swim).

I do not know where this fear comes from. Maybe I get it from my mother, a person who has a general fear of driving and has never driven on a freeway. Maybe. Or maybe it has something to do with the reports of injuries and death that you hear of the news as a result of accidents. Regardless, I have it and whenever I come across these fearful situations, I feel a little paranoid.

There is a saying that courage is not the absence of fear but persisting in spite of it. For me, it would be nice if I were able to conquer this fear, but even if I do not, it is important that I do not let this fear keep me from doing what I have to do which means getting to whatever destination I need to get to via these freeways. I used to have a job that took me on US-52 all the time, and even though I did not like it, I still had to do it. Now, I have to drive on 694 every single day, and so, even though I may be afraid, I have to use it if I want to get home at a reasonable hour.

Far too often, we allow fear to keep us from doing what God asks of us. For most, that fear probably is not driving, but it may involve taking some sort of risk that does not make us feel comfortable. Some of those are financial: God may be asking us to step away from a job that we have placed so much trust in and trust him instead yet we are afraid because of the current economic situation is front of us. Some of those are relational: God may be asking us to take a step of faith and repair a relationship with an estranged family member yet we are reluctant to do so because we fear rejection. Regardless what the circumstance is, we have to remember to work through our fear and trust God to bring about an expected, desired result!

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