Friday, March 16, 2007


I'm on spring break (the reason for the lull in blogs) with my family in the mountains of New Mexico; and when I say family, we have a loaded house here. We went skiing yesterday, and in days of the past, skiing and fear were two words that would not be seen in the same post.

When I was younger, there truly were few things that I was afraid to try, as my high school skiing buddies could attest. I wasn't all that great, but that wouldn't stop me from racing them down the mountain or flying off a ledge. We would stop at the top of a slope, they would point out a jump and dare me to try something. They knew that I would never turn them down.

That has resulted in some tremendous crashes and occasionally a pretty amazing feat. But it was all different Tuesday as I was on the ski slopes with my family. I hadn't been skiing in several years, and I took it easy. I saw a few jumps and went around them. There were some spots where I could pick up a lot of speed and I slowed down.

So it is that I'm just getting old? I suppose that is part of it. I've experienced hurt and pain. I've had several surgeries on body parts and I know that it could happen again. Getting up after falling down just isn't as easy as it used to be.

I'm really not that old, so coming to this realization is hard. I fear the next morning after I have taken a couple of hard falls. I fear landing wrong and going through rehab for six months. I now have fear when I watch my kids and hope that they have a little more trepidation (but still have chutzpah) than I did going down the slopes of life.

My oldest son actually had a bad fall on the slopes and sprained his knee. The swelling will go down in a couple of days and he is already up and playing in the backyard, but it just drags up the fear that I have of the future.

What is my fear? Potential pain and lost opportunity.

There is a good part to this fear - it helps me to relish other moments. I try to drink in the hugs that I get from my kids. I try to think "this is good" when my wife and I share our thoughts and hearts. I love having a good laugh and experiences with my friends. These become the glue in my life in the face of fear and brokenness. I just hope that the strength of the cherished moments are strong enough to help me overcome the fears when I need to be brave.

So tell me, friends, how do you know the difference between a good fear and a bad one?

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