Don’t Look Down!!!

“Calm down doctor. Now is not the time for fear. That comes later…” This is one the best lines from Dark Knight Rises. If you’re not familiar with the movie (seriously?), this is the scene where Bane and his cohorts have hijacked a plane belonging to the CIA that is carrying Dr. Pavel. Bane has captured Dr. Pavel and assured him that being afraid now won’t do him any good but, later he should be.

I remember, back in my Army days, there was always some sort of training that we had to do, Especially in Basic Training. On one particular day, we had to go through, what’s called, the Confidence Course. This was a series of obstacles that ran a few hundred yards. Along the course there were a myriad of obstacles that you had to negotiate. Some required crawling while others required, jumping, running, rolling, etc. However there was one obstacle that almost everyone feared. This was the one where you had to climb up and over at a pretty decent height. Sure, there were some that were able to get passed it but, there were many of us that were not. You heard the usual calls of motivation as well as tricks to get over it.

“Just keep your eyes forward…”

“Don’t look down…”

I could go on and on. The thing about it was that there could have been a million tricks but if you have a fear, there is no point in wasting your breath. Fortunately for me, I was successful at climbing but, because of my height, I was at a disadvantage. Still, I had to get over the wall. It took me two times but, I made it. However my greatest challenge was when I went rappelling for the first time. The wall in basic training was tough however, a 50 ft tower is a totally different animal. Not only was it high, this time, I had to rappel down the front. I was fitted with a harness and climbed the tower. Once they gave me a class on rappelling, it was my time to go over the edge (insert scared face). As I got into position, my heart was racing faster than a zebra being chased by a lion. I was over the edge but I wasn’t going anywhere. I was stuck. My friend told me that I had to kick away from the wall and pull my back arm away from my body loosening the rope. I was still at the top so I wasn’t able to kick very far but, when I started my descent, I was moving! It was all over after about three kicks.

After I got done, I went back a few more times because it got easier once I faced my fear. Noticed I said “face” and not “overcome”. The way I see it, we never really stop being afraid. We face the fear by looking straight at it and then we go on ahead. This reminds me of Paul’s second letter to Timothy. He tells him to not be afraid because that’s not how God operates. He doesn’t give us the spirit of fear. That comes from the enemy. God gives us the spirit of love and a sound mind. We go through life everyday thinking about ways to not do something because of fear. Myself included. There have been many times since leaving the army where I was afraid. I had a fear of the unknown. Even after my divorce there was still some fear. I had to push through and face it all. You can too…


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