My first and only luge trip was quite an adventure! While the story ended with me hitting the ice for a few runs, it began with fear! Quite a bit of it too! High speeds and just having to trust that the track will do its job ... and not kill me in the meantime! It ... was ... fast! Perhaps not as fast as it could have been, as I wasn't exactly showing perfect form, but it was plenty fast enough for me!
At first, I decided that being a spectator would be far more enjoyable than being a participant ... :)
However, after some pressure from friends (and my son!) I managed to find my courage and get to that staircase. As I finally made my way up, I tried not to think too much about it. I laid down on the sled, wondered what in the world I was doing, and pushed off!
What a rush!
I will admit I did have the lingering feeling that I was going to die! Perhaps heart attack, perhaps tumbling around on the ice at 900 mph, or perhaps I was going to launch off the track into the woods and down the hill. Perhaps I was never going to stop; however that managed not to be the case surprisingly enough. Thankfully at that speed the thoughts of death didn't linger too much as I got to the end pretty quickly, and alive to boot!
Fear can stop us from a lot. For me, it would have been an amazing luge experience with my son. For others, the fear can stop us from things far more critical ...
"Nevertheless, many even of the authorities believed in [Jesus], but for fear of the Pharisees they did not confess it, so that they would not be put out of the synagogue" (John 12:42 ESV, emphasis added)Fear kept them away from the Savior of the World. Fear about being put out of the synagogue was driving their decisions. Fear was containing them, restraining them, and paralyzing them.
Powerful indeed ... but in this case, that's really not the true reason.
No? What is then?
Well, just like life I think the real reasons often lie deeper. Fear is a reaction to something, not a cause. I wasn't fearful because the luge was fast ... I was fearful because I wasn't in control.
If you want to know what the real reason is in this passage, you need not look further than the very next verse ...
"for they loved the glory that comes from man more than the glory that comes from God." (John 12:43 ESV)This isn't an issue about church membership, social status, money, or security. It's certainly not about Truth or belief, as that's already been made clear. Additionally, it's not even about fear. It's about something far more profound. Far more damaging. Far more soul destroying.
Pride. Love of self.
It can sneak up on each one of us in an instant. Get alone with God. Examine yourself. Purge that pride at all costs as it's a cancer of the soul ... it goes before destruction ...
In Jesus name, may you and I find freedom from this wicked weapon of the enemy.
Oh sweet Grace ...
Stay strong and true to Him,