Yesterday I was driving and got a call from my son Joel. Joel has great phone manners but is not really a phone guy. He'll talk but he doesn't initiate many phone conversations. So, when I heard his voice, he had my attention. He said, "Daddy, do you want to know why I called?" I did. He said that he had an idea for a "first." Mr. Timmy had brought him home from school and stopped at the store and bought him a treat. Mr. Timmy is really sweet that way. So is Mr. Ben; they are both very kind to do that and I think there may even be a hint of competition over who's the kindest. So, Joel picked out some flaming buffalo chicken jerky kind of thing for his "first." Last week I had bought Joel his first beef jerky. We brought it fishing with us and ate it while fishing. So, I think the jerky thing was on his mind. Joel says it was pretty good. He asked me to think about eating some for a "first." What's a Dad to say to that? I ate some flaming buffalo chicken nuggets jerky dried meat kind of thing for my "first."
I''m pretty sure this is not something I would have done on my own. Joel gets the credit. He likes them OK. Hannah Grace tried them and said they were OK. Laura passed on trying them. What?? She eats crickets but not the dried jerky chicken thing? I ate one. I did not eat two, but I did eat one. It was spicy and dried.
Truthfully, I like the lasagna we had for supper much better. Sometimes we do things because we love someone. I love that the kids like to hear about my "firsts." They ask me almost every day what I've done or am doing for that day. I want them to be excited about life and trying new things. I look back and see that I missed out on a lot because of not trying things. I held back from new experiences and opportunities mostly out of fear. I was afraid of failing, looking stupid, and being incompetent. That's not a Jesus way to live. I love 2 Timothy 1:7: For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline (one translation has a sound mind). It seems that Timothy was a bit of a timid Timothy and so Paul was encouraging him to not give in to fear. One of the great antidotes to fear is love. There are things that are scary but I will do them for someone I love. Maybe not every time like when Hannah Grace wanted me to ride a roller coaster with her last year. If they really need me to do something, I much more likely to do it for the people I love than a random stranger.
Our love for Jesus should be enough to enable us (along with the power of the Holy Spirit) to push through the fear that stands between me and obeying Him. What has fear held you back from? Let the love of Christ and the power of the Spirit help you to push through to the abundant life.
Pushing through for the abundant life
3 things I thank God for today
1. Soft, dripping rain
2. 2 Timothy 1:7