Staging Thanks…

The Kindergarten Thanksgiving performance was a riot. A complete joy sitting among other parents with camcorders attached to our arms. Ivy had a speaking role and with ease she rattled off her line…

She has every appearance of living for these moments. She danced and smiled with joy on stage. Her teacher even pulled us aside to comment on our little star. Yet before we left, we searched the house for Ivy. I found her in the bathroom overflowing with nervousness.

On the trip to the school, in an effort to get her to speak, I broke out her new favorite CD (the burned CD of the children’s Christmas program). Even then she barely sang along – though I belted out all the lyrics. (Thankfully my girls have not reached the stage to judge my skills – they still dance with me and believe I know what I am doing!)

We all know this strange emotion. This fear of failure. I had thought it would take longer to develop. But pulling into the school I felt for Ivy. We have all been in her shoes – with only adrenaline to carry us forward.

We could remain stuck. Overcome by fear. Living the life of the Super Committee. But there is no reward when we are idle. I suppose failure is avoided… but then so is life.

As we move toward Thanksgiving take the untraveled roads. Move out of your comfortable cubicle. Do the thing that frightens you**. Feel the rush of adrenaline.

Then give thanks. Because come failure or success, victory or defeat, we know our Father loves us. That He is proud of us. And He is belting out the lyrics of our favorite songs,

“The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.” ~ Zeph 3:17


** For me, the question, “what frightens?” is an easy and long list. And it begins with snakes. But I am not calling for us to buy a recorder and become snake tamers (no matter how much having the whole church learn the recorder excites Polly). Instead, what are things you know you should do, but avoid? Like being the first to apologize. Or speaking to your friend about – fill in the blank.

As adults it can be difficult to answer the question of “what frightens?” When we are children we are forced into fearful situations, from starting school to public speaking to … but as adults we can avoid situations. Over time we learn what we are good at, where we are accepted (and by whom) – so we are able to create comfortable cubicles. In these spaces we imagine we are brave, but there is no bravery without fear! When our choices only extend to the edge of the cubicle, the world is too small. Break free. Take the risk. Experience the bravery of overcoming fears.

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