How many times have you had that dreadful feeling that you were headed straight into an event that you feared you wouldn’t survive? That moment of panic when you are staring into it and think, “I would rather die than go through with this.”
Here are a few of mine:
- Standing on the high diving board when I was a kid, terrified of jumping
- The moment before the bottom drops out from the Six Flags ride and you experience the ‘thrill’ of a thousand-story free fall
- Trembling in the labor and delivery room just before my first baby made her grand appearance—I panicked as the woman in the adjacent room continually screamed in pain
- Stepping up to the podium to teach for the very first time
I didn’t feel I would live to tell about such things, but I’m still here—with a much richer life because I took the plunge. So many ‘unknowns’, so many risks.
Many times when I find myself in a challenging predicament, I dream about being on a boat that is going somewhere that I don’t want to go. In most cases, it would not be a good idea to stop the boat or ‘jump ship’.
I had such a dream this morning. I was on a boat driven by unconcerned navigators who took me way off course and caused me to miss my other important Monday appointments. There is nothing particularly scary about the things on my calendar (except maybe the new, hour-long exercise class I reluctantly agreed to go to). Because of my dream, I’m going to be extra careful today to make sure I don’t get seriously sidetracked. So, the boat theme today might not be a huge ordeal for me.
But I’ve talked with some people lately who are considering throwing in the towel. Life is hard, scary, sometimes seemingly option-less. All of us have moments or even seasons of feeling stuck and wanting to get off this boat called LIFE. I encourage you to grab someone’s hand, take a deep breath, step through the fear—and look for the reward of victory on the other side.