Running Scared, ch. 2

In this chapter, Welch walks the reader through the examination of his or her own fears.

Rather than minimizing your fears, find more of them. Expose them to the light of day because the more you find, the more blessed you will be when you hear words of peace and comfort (28).

It seems obvious that a problem needs to be recognized to be fixed. Of course, sometimes, I don’t want to expose my issues to the light, because it can be a painful experience.

The rest of the chapter outlines some different ways to recognize various fears. I’ll list them:

*Background Fear and Anxiety. Welch says, “Any time you love or want something deeply, you will notice fear and anxieties because you might not get them” (28). This hit home, because I have seen in myself a pattern of anxiety and worry which always relates to what I most value at that time. Currently, a lot of my anxiety centers on my four-month-old marriage. I know that when kids are drawn into the picture, the worry will probably be related to them as well.

*Phobias.

*Dreams.

*Physical Cues. I have noticed related that I constantly clench my jaw, even when I don’t feel stressed or anxious. But it indicates a lingering anxiety over so much in my life.

*Stress.

*Busy and Driven.

*Depression. I can tend toward depression, and it always relates to a nagging or terrifying anxiety. “Listen,” Welch says, “carefully to depression and you often hear fear and anxiety” (33).

*Anger.

*Overprotection.

*Superstitions. Welch tells us to assume we do have superstitions. This encouraged me, because I have thought I was weird in this way. For example, Laura and I started dating on the 13th of May. This caused me anxiety in the beginning of our relationship, because I (along with a lot of the culture) have viewed “13” as unlucky number.  This crops up in all sorts of little, weird ways.

Welch closes the chapter by asking the question, “Could you imagine a life without fear?” (36). Personally, this entices me more than the idea of Ed McMahon coming to my door with a big cardboard check. It also seems as unlikely. I have ingrained worry and anxiety so deeply into the ruts of my life that a life without it seems impossible. Acknowledging that total inner peace and rest comes only in heaven, I also appreciate the fact that God gives his rest on eternity’s worrisome side.

May I hope in my God of rest, and learn to live a life without fear and worry and anxiety and “what if?”.

Change my heart, O God, for I know that you are my only hope.

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About Danny Slavich

I am a Christian husband, father, pastor, and poet. I lead Pembroke Road Baptist Church a multi-cultural, multi-generational church in urban South Florida.
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10 Responses to Running Scared, ch. 2

  1. Ben says:

    A big change for me on worry came after I figured out that my breathing problems were caused (at least in part) by anxiety. Before that, I could worry about stupid stuff or stuff I couldn’t change, or stuff I knew wasn’t really true, and still feel a little sorry for myself or whatever. But after, I just realized … there’s nothing for it. You’ve got to let it go or die (well, kind of). That actually made it a lot easier for me, knowing that I really didn’t have the option of worrying — even if there was a good reason (which usually, there wasn’t). Not that I don’t worry about anything, but it helped me to choose my battles, etc.

  2. Lee says:

    Light is very good. Works for sin; I’m sure it works for issues as well…. Ps 19.

    Great phrase: “…God gives his rest on eternity’s worrisome side.”

  3. dslavich says:

    It’s interesting how self-centered worry truly is. It can be a complete pity party, and maybe even a manipulative way to get attention. Personally, I think about myself a lot more than I need to. Turning externally, to the light of that which is not myself, often helps me. But that can also be very hard to do…

  4. Lee says:

    Yes, indeed (worry=self centered, etc.) Also, I think we have problems which weren’t known even a few generations ago due to the creation of the “adolescent”. Now we (culturally, in the U.S. in particular) have all sort of insecurities, self-esteem issues, etc.

  5. Lee says:

    Where self-esteem usually = waaaay too much thought about self… and a self-esteem problem = an even greater imbalance…

  6. Ben says:

    There’s nothing wrong with good mental health. Most people I know that are worriers have too little self esteem rather than too much; that is, they are really down on themselves, and that creates a lot of problems and can be just as foolish as pride.

    True wisdom assesses the self and its worth soberly and with grace. Poor self-esteem can damage your ability to help others, deepen your bad habits, and make you so sensitive that you lash out at others, etc.

  7. Lee says:

    Maybe I didn’t state it clearly – I think that often “too little self-esteem” = “big pride problem”, though under the surface. Or, if you prefer, a big problem w/ focusing on self rather than others.

    And all of the above is a relatively recent phenomenon.

  8. Ben says:

    I don’t know about that.

    It seems to me that in days past, people had bigger problems with emotions and self-esteem, they just didn’t have the current labels or expressions.

  9. Lee says:

    Look around on the web – secular and Christian authors both talk about “modern adolescence” and the problems thereof… Of course, the solutions differ, depending upon who you go to. But many of today’s problems arise out of this construct which didn’t exist a few generations ago.

  10. Lee says:

    Also, see Danny’s comment on one of Tato’s posts here.

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