Thursday, 11 September 2008

Fear

My son is currently on a school trip and yesterday overcame his fear of heights and did the 'leap of faith' - he even got a special mention on the school trip website!

Apparently, psychiatrists believe we are only born with two innate fears: the fear of falling and the fear of loud noises. That means every other fear is 'learnt' and this week I seem to be swimming in a lot of my 'learnt' fears.

I have been swimming in the fear of moving to Amsterdam and then my kids being in terrible schools and they struggle.

I have swum in the fear of the financial pressure that comes with a church plant and isolation from close friends.

I am wading in the fear that RFC may falter and then my friends feeling I let them down.

I have occasionally paddled in the fear of failure - yes looking stupid, but mainly that I am leading my family into something we won't be able to do.

And in truth, all my fears are well founded and could come to pass.

But Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. What I fear could happen, however the root issue is this: who do we believe our God to be and what has He asked us to do?

The fine details of our future as a family are hazy but Liz and I are certain of what we see: our family thriving in Amsterdam, RFC powering on and a new church established, and the gospel going to the nations.

So like our son, we are going to make our 'leap of faith' knowing it is our heavenly Father at the end of the safety line.

2 comments:

Tom said...

Sean,

Greetings :) Glad to see Amsterdam stuff kicking off.

I think that the phrase 'leap of faith' is unhelpful for the following reasons:

1. It concedes that there is not enough evidence (Romans 1-2 set things up differently)

2. It confirms the non-Christian perception, that faith is non-rational and non-evidential.

3. As a whole concept it suggests that commitment should come before truth.

4. It is ineffective because it doesn't clearly communicate what faith is. The phrase 'leap of faith' is so fixed in meaning, that it is nearly impossible to redeem it's definition to a biblical one.

Sean Green said...

Hi Tom - I was trying to tie it back into the illustration of my son - nothing more.

Either way pioneers often feel scared and confused and fearful yet they still move forward (or jump). That may not fit into a neat theological box or description yet they achieve great things.

I agree with your points but faith and exploits always involve emotions (highs and lows) and they are not precise!