I’m curious about fear. Why does fear get to wield such influence in our lives? Does it even make sense?
I am one of the most jumpy people alive… I am ridiculous when I watch scary films, but curiosity gets the better of me and every so often I watch one… I watch it knowing I’ll regret it, and then when I’m done, guess what, I regret it.
Let me tell you a couple little stories about curiosity and about fear…
One day (today actually) I was trying to be helpful on the small holding, so I took a tub and went to pick raspberries. The bushes are all close together and you have to get entangled to do any proper helpful fruit picking, and there are loads of flies, bees and wasps. Wasps are an issue for me… I don’t understand why I am so scared of them… I wanted to be brave and useful though so I kept trying to pick raspberries, even though every buzz was a test… and then just as I’d put the last ripe raspberry into the tub a wasp came too close to my hand and… I dropped the pot and ran… like a real sissy! It’s so infuriating!! I simply don’t seem to be able to use mind over matter…
One (different) day, I had my curiosity spiked by a friend, a teenage boy. He told me that he had stapled a receipt to his leg. Why, on hearing this, did I instantly want to do it too? I knew it would hurt, and I knew it was purposeless but I still wanted to. It really was fascinating… i found the receipt got in the way and didn’t quite quench my curiosity, so I did it without any paper; so I could get a proper look at the staple as it clung in my leg… and as I pulled it out… It didn’t really hurt that much, but apparently I could have got an infection and needed to amputate my leg… so I’m not allowed to do it again (that’s okay… curiosity on this generally over now)
Once I was asked out by a young man with whom I had been good friends for a while. I was shocked, and scared, and excited. I said yes. I knew I was making a choice to be vulnerable and also to take on responsibility to take care of someone else’s heart, basically I was choosing to love him. This was terrifying to me in a way, it had the potential to hurt me and him in a big way but I thought that IF it worked out it could be something fantastic. Turned out to be both, I think. It was one of the most rollercoasterish nine months I’d experienced as a result of a choice I’d made. It was a risk, I took it, I was so blessed, I learned things, I was quite hurt too though. Now… would I, could I take a similar risk again?
So basically what I’m wondering about is this… There seem to be different types of fear, or at least a scale of levels of fear. I’m afraid of pain, but specifically the pain caused by a wasp sting I seem to fear a hundred times more than a needle or a punch in the stomach or something. But all of these fears are insignificant and not something I’d actually worry about at night when I can’t sleep. I’m afraid of bad things happening unexpectedly, which means I jump when I watch films and have to hide behind cushions and things, but somehow I am still curious, so I still choose to watch these things…. I’m scared of unseen jellyfish when I’m swimming but I still love going in the sea. I’m often curious about how much pain I can take and I pick (play)fights with people 3 times as big as me… Rollercoasres are designed to scare us and yet loads of us love going on them?!?
Really, the kind of thing I’m actually afraid of is losing a precious friendship, hurting someone, being rejected by someone I love, being a burden to others, disappointing God or my family, being selfish and making bad decisions… Some are scary because they’re to do with the hope for something amazing, and the scary part is the disappointment if they don’t work out, and some are to do with temptation to sin, and that kind rarely seems scary at the point of choosing, but in reality are probably far worse. And yet, even though these things are much more important to me really… I make such silly choices with regard to them. The Ones that are to do with fear of disappointment I have to make a real effort not to avoid, while with temptations I’m not nearly so swift to avoid situations where I could potentially fall into them… I don’t ‘drop the tub of raspberries and run’…. and is it because of curiosity that I don’t?
Sigh… I have been rambling…. With lots of questions, but also lots of love . ;] xx