I failed big yesterday, because I let irrational fear get the best of me.
April and I took Samson to the dog park to play in the powdery aftermath of Snowmageddon 2011. We parked next to the only other car present, turned Sam loose, and wound up engaged in friendly conversation with Richard, another local dog-lover.
We talked for probably 15 minutes, long enough to learn Richard’s name, where he lived, that he was exceptionally warm-natured (short sleeves in the snow, man!) and even a little about his past. Long enough for all of that, but not for me to muster the courage to invite the dude to church.
Why is it so hard to spread God’s love? Fear, plain and simple. In my case, it was fear over something silly: how I’d respond if he turned me down. Seriously. I balked at the chance to bring someone to church because I was afraid of an awkward segue if he said “no”.
In retrospect, a bit of scripture from the book Mark springs to mind:
“Do not be anxious beforehand what you are to say, but say whatever is given you in that hour, for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit.” (Mark 13:11)
I froze because I got worried about what to say after I’d done what I felt prompted to do. A case of analysis paralysis, I guess.
I hope my failure and embarrassment will inspire somebody out there to be bolder than me when the opportunity presents itself. I pray that God will make me more courageous the next time I get the chance. I pray, when it’s time to eat that elephant, so to speak, I’ll do it the only way I can: one bite at a time.
“God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” (2 Timothy 1:7)