Thursday, October 02, 2014

Fear 1, Elwin 0 - Batter Up....

PayPal was waiting.

I had responded to +Frank Viola's pitches for his Buzz Master Class CD and workbook package by clicking through to the PayPal screen for making the payment needed to buy it. All I needed to do was supply the relevant information from my American Express card and click, and the Buzz Seminar would be on its way to my front door.

What is the Buzz Master Classr? The webpage linked to above describes it thus:

The Buzz Master Class is an intensive training course that gives you the tools and strategies you need to succeed as a blogger and/or an author. One of the keys to getting your message heard above the static that clutters the online and offline worlds is building buzz for your blog or book.
That’s what The Buzz Master Class equips you to do.

I had concluded that it could be a great help in getting this here thing right here - ReVisions: Bekitemba's GUT - enough pageviews to make it valuable to advertisers, so I clicked through, and now all I needed to do was...get up from my desk in my first floor office, go to the second floor to retrieve my wallet, come back to my desk, pull out my American Express card, and type in the info for which PayPal was waiting. A simple sequence of actions, extremely easy to perform.

Until Fear spoke, and until I listened.

"Can you really afford it?" Fear loves to ask me this question, because it can always immediately supply its own answer: "Probably not."

The cost, with shipping, was a little more than $700. That's more than two weeks of my take-home pay. Part of the pitch for the course, of course, was that it would likely pay for itself many times over in increased income, if you followed its instructions.

And Fear turned that not-quite-guarantee against me.

"What makes you think that you'll do it?" And Fear reminded me of my past: the books, tapes, CDs and DVDs unread, unheard, or unviewed; the ones read, heard or viewed but not acted upon; the actions begun but not finished. The Great Mountain of Undone, from Tony Robbins tapes in the '80s to NaNoWriMo last year and the year before that.

And I didn't retrieve my wallet, didn't enter my American Express card info, didn't click, and won't have the package arriving at my front door within days.

This guy told me 20 or more years ago that fear is False Evidence Appearing Real...

And now, in daylight, the regret is not specifically that I didn't order the package; the regret is that I followed Fear's leading, for Fear will never lead to success, or to prosperity, or to freedom or to any type of growth. Fear has only one destination: the cage in the corner on the floor of the dungeon, where the only thing to do is to shiver while you listen for the rustles, the whispers and the roars of the monsters that lurk in the infinite, smothering darkness. For in that darkness, every thing that moves is a monster unseen, and the only way to be safe from them all is to not make a move yourself. Ever.

And when Fear gets you there, when Fear wins, the entire world loses, because the entire world misses out on all the good you could do.

So, what's the lesson? For me, for the moment, it is this: that even when Fear speaks the truth, it is in order to persuade you of a lie. It is true that I have often failed to follow through on things; it is not true that what I have done before is what I must do now and forever. History is not destiny; it is input for process improvement.

"There is absolutely no inevitability as long as there is a willingness to contemplate what is happening." -Marshall McLuhan

*********************

Long ago, I read or heard somewhere that the Israelites could have made it from Egypt to the Promised Land in six weeks (40 days?) if they had not spent 40 years wandering in the wilderness. I haven't confirmed that, but the narrative itself tells me this: the reason they spent 40 years wandering is because when the opportunity to enter the Promised Land lay before them, they listened to Fear, and fell back.

I don't have 40 years to waste, and I've wasted too many already. Time to kick Fear to the curb, put it in chains, and leave it behind.

Wow. I just read what I wrote - "leave it behind" - and I am short of breath. To truly live without fear, to have fear be a memory, something that, when it approaches, I can address with, "Oh yeah, I remember you - get outta here, chump!" and a dismissive laugh...is that possible, and if possible, desirable? It seems desirable. And as I remember Ephesians - "We have access to God with freedom, in the confidence born of trust in Him." (chapter 3) - it seems more than possible, it seems appropriate, as something that should be expected as a natural outcome of being in Christ.

Should a local assembly, a congregation, a church, an ecclesia, be a group of people who live without fear? What would that look like?

I can't answer that; but I can CREATE the answer to this: what will I look like if I listen to confidence rather than fear for six weeks? Where will moving forward in confidence take me in six weeks?

(Yes, I've just announced an experiment - call it, "Swinging For The Fences.")
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