We fear many things in this life, but one that I’ve personally encountered over this past summer is the FEAR OF REFLECTION.
Reflection is simply that time of pondering over, asking questions of, and interpreting things internally. Some people do this through meditation. Some make this a daily part of their prayer life. Some do it as a deliberate practice when considering a major decision. Others simply are forced to do it when something goes horribly wrong and are working to assess what happened and when.
But I’ve noticed in conversations with people that taking time to reflect and ask personal questions (to ourselves) is not something they WANT to do. There is a FEAR that shows up that they didn’t even realize was there.
- A Fear of what they will find when they stop moving.
- A Fear of what they will hear when they stop talking.
- A Fear of what they will feel when they stop rising to meet the expectations of others.
- A Fear of what answers they might get to the questions they need to ask.
I had a moment this past summer where personal questions were creeping into my mind and I really didn’t want to think about the answer. I thought it was going to effect my future negatively, that I was simply being lead astray from a good place in life to wander a path of doubt. So I rejected that prompting to reflect. However, I was traveling for about 6 hours in the car, so I really couldn’t busy myself to the degree that I could completely get it out of my head.
So I gave in to the questions. That time of reflection ended up being very important. I believe God used it to reveal some very important things to me, that I’m not sure I would have noticed had I not stopped and asked some hard questions. I believe God spoke to me through this time, deepened my convictions, and affirmed my calling – but I had to do the thing that I FEARED before I could get to those answers.
I don’t know if I have a simple solution for the FEAR of reflection in our lives. I know it’s there, and I know that it stops many people from having a deeper understanding of life and faith because they worry about what they will find when they start reflecting. The verse that came to mind that brought me hope was a time when Jesus was teaching about worry and anxiety. In Matthew’s gospel, Jesus said.
Matthew 6:25 “That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? 27 Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?
28“And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, 29yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. 30And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?
31“So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ 32These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs.
If we really believe that God already knows all that we need, then allow him to take you down the path of self-reflection. There is nothing to fear. We spend so much of our lives chasing down security and peace, but maybe those are the rewards that await us when we stop and reflect on our lives!
Maybe, this will help someone take a step towards that FEAR of REFLECTION and towards Fearless Living!
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