We’ve been packing up our belongings getting ready to move what’s left of our possessions to storage in preparation for our venture out into the world. While clearing out the “Map Room,” Rebekah found a picture album from her first trip to Africa in 1997. She was nineteen and spent nearly two months hiking through villages on Mt. Kilimanjaro. As we flipped through the album she told me a story she had never shared with me before and I had quite the laugh. They were on a safari and one of the gals that was riding with them had a thing about monkeys. Like, she was petrified of them. They came upon a group of monkeys and the group proceeded to get out of the vehicle to get a better view, but this girl was not having any of it. She stayed put! She was terrified that a monkey would get her and felt safer in the car. The thing is, this safari vehicle had an opening in the roof so you could get a better view of the wildlife. This opening in the roof and the soda and the banana that someone had left in the front seat provided a great show. One of the monkeys made its way into the Land Rover to take advantage of the free snack. When this girl saw the monkey inside she screamed her lungs out, which in turn scared the monkey and instead of exiting through top, it ran circles around the inside of the car. From Rebekah’s viewpoint she saw the blur of the monkey and the Land Rover shaking from side to side with blood curdling screams coming from the car. Soon the monkey emerged with soda and banana in hand and proceeded to enjoy his snack on the hood. This girl was traumatized!
I laughed so hard as she told the story, not just because it’s a great story, but when Rebekah tells a story there’s hand motions and hair flinging. It’s lots of fun when she tells stories. My first thought after catching my breath was to this point – it was this girl’s unchecked fear of monkeys and lack of courage to get out of the car that put her in the very position she didn’t want to be in. Look, just because you won’t face your fears doesn’t mean your fears won’t come climbing through the roof to face you. If you really want to live a fulfilling life you are going to have to face those demons of fear…or monkeys.
I love the paraphrase of an old Hebrew proverb,
“The loafer says, ‘It’s dangerous out there! Tigers are prowling the streets!’ And then pull the covers back over their heads”*
Danger is no excuse to not engage in life! It doesn’t matter how reclusive or “safe” you become…the monkey will climb through the roof. Don’t let your fears trap you and keep you from living a meaningful and significant life. I’m not encouraging you to act stupidly or irresponsibly, but what I am saying is that whatever it is that requires you to act courageously…do that! It will look differently for you than for someone else.
The world is waiting…
it is literally longing for you to become the best version of you.
Sit down tonight, grab a cup of coffee, a pen, and your journal and really work through these three statements.
- When I _______________________ it really makes me feel alive inside.
- Others have told me that I come alive when _______________________.
- I think I could become great at __________________________, but I feel nervous and scared that I will fail.
Now, as you work through these statements, let me leave you with the well know quote from Theodore Roosevelt’s speech Citizenship in a Republic.
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”
Now go – DARE GREATLY and become the best version of you!
Leave a comment below and share with us how you will act or have acted courageously to become the best version of you.
*(Proverbs 26:16 MSG)