Monday, September 05, 2005

My Deepest Fear

Recently, I have been pondering my nature and I believe I am beginning to understand what my greatest fear actually is.

The most obvious example is when I am interested in a girl and it doesn't seem to be working out. I start to worry that she may ask people I know, what they think of me... and that they will sell me short, because many of them don't have a proper understanding of who or where I am as a person.

I am also reluctant to read books, watch films or listen to music based solely on the recommendation of anyone I know. If I discover something it has to be something I stumbled on out of my own desire or inclination. I think you can see how hard it would be to get me agreeing to going on a blind date.

The truth is I fear being controlled/manipulated by other people. I don't mind so much with God, because he created me, gave me life, redeemed me... and he owns me. He is sovereign over me. Those around me however are not.

Everywhere around us, people play at being God. When talking to our friends we often "pigeon hole" them into being certain archetypes. We rarely accept people as they are, we are all guilty of such crimes. When I was at school I played on this tendency. I didn't want people to get too close to me that they hurt me, so I chose to play the archetype of class weirdo and oddball. I was like a court jester. Everyone liked me, but nobody loved me... I had little value to them.

I excelled in my performance... to such a degree that it began to spill over into my social life too. I shut them all out successfully. Not something I am terribly proud of. It is only people on the outside who generally see past my mask... despite the fact I don't wear it any more. I fear that many people will be basing their opinion of me, on an impression that was put on them many years ago. Only God can change that.

There are a few friends from that era who actively play on that side of my character... they try to bring it out in the company of others. I had a recent comment on my answerphone "jokingly" criticising my standard sounding message (in the past I have usually said something a little offbeat). Same person usually ties to make me look like a loon around others. Why he does this is beyond me... maybe it's to make himself look good, maybe it is because he likes to feel he has an element of control over other people. either way it is wrong.

At camp this year I was reminded that:

"There is no wisdom, no insight, no plan that can succeed against the LORD." Proverbs 21:30

So clearly, the answer to this fear is to trust in God for it's resolution. Recently a friend of mine gave me a scripture when we were speaking about relationships:

"Yet the LORD longs to be gracious to you; he rises to show you compassion. For the LORD is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him!" Isaiah 30:18

That really helped me out, it reminded me not to be anxious about what other people can say or do... just to wait my time and God's promises will be fulfilled. Besides, at the end of the day... would I really want to go out with someone who's perception of me was completely open to the suggestions of others? The great thing is, I don't think I have to try and do anything. God seems to be telling me he's got it sussed but he doesn't want to wreck it by spilling the beans.

The feeling I have is that this is like a game of Mousetrap... all the pieces are in place, they are just waiting for the moment the steel ball is dropped. When that happens, the elaborate mechanisms God has been busy setting up behind the scenes... will start dropping into place... and finally despite the efforts of all those nay sayers who are scurrying away below... the net will come down and God will be proved true to his word.

There is an irony between a friend of mine and myself. He holds himself back, because he fears (understandably if you knew the circumstance), that God will fulfill his word in his life sooner than he would be comfortable with; whereas I have been holding an area of my life back from God, for the opposite reason... I fear he will fulfill his word too late for me to be able to fully appreciate. Both these fears are of course absurd acts of rebellion. God's will is perfect, and he knows how much we can take. I hope I have learned my lesson and can wait upon the Lord without fearing the Machiavellian input of other people.

Time will tell.

Oh yes and I forgot to say... it's really important for me to maintain a balance between not worrying about peoples perceptions, and not leaving myself open to manipulation. Basically I have to chill out and not take myself or my troubles too seriously, but treat them seriously enough that I'm aware of any REAL attempts to make me act like a gimboid!

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