You are curled up on the most comfortable chair in your house. You have a cup of your favorite beverage next to you, a lamp on, and a book in hand. You get immersed in the story. Each turn of the page sucks you into to the story a little bit farther. The tension in your shoulders eases, the troubles in your mind take a back seat. As the words unfold before you.
There is nothing better than a good book. Strike that, there is nothing better than a good book that also teaches you a lesson, or serves you a reminder, or gives you a message that you sorely needed. Nothing.
I read and reviewed a book this past weekend called Lilly's Wedding Quilt, a sweet Amish romance. One that was a quick read for me. But one of the best parts was that at the end of the book there was a group discussion guide. It's not often that I take the time to look at the back of the book. When the story is done, I close the cover and put it back on a shelf to be pulled out a read again another day.
But for some reason, on this day, I did flip the pages. And what I found were some very thought provoking questions. Eventually I will share them all, but for now, I will share just a few.
The question asked was: How does fear often keep Lilly (one of the main characters) from experiencing an abundant life? What do you fear the most?
What do I fear the most? Disappointing others? Being irrelevant? Not being the person God made me to be? Not being able to live my dreams? All big fears. But that wasn't what struck me. What struck me was the phrasing of the first question when I spun it back to myself. How does fear keep me from experiencing an abundant life?
How often do I hide behind the mask of fear? Wondering what could go wrong, how I could fail. How often do I miss out on life. But not just life. ABUNDANT life. A full and plentiful life.
How often does my fear paralyze me? Keep me stuck in neutral, coasting along. Not straying to far from the beaten path?
How often does my fear make me doubt? Doubt myself? Doubt others? Doubt the friendships and relationships that I'm in?
How often does my fear make me feel unworthy? Unworthy of more.
Well today, I work at taking off that mask, of moving out of the fear, of doubting less and trusting more, and believing in myself. Today, I remember that we all deserve abundant life.
What do you fear most?