A little girl was learning to skate with much taller youngsters and a trainer was watching. That evening the trainer knocked on the little girl’s door and asked her mother permission to let him teach her to become a champion. Her mother did not think that she was doing well enough on the ice because the other children were skating much better. The trainer agreed but gave his reason for choosing her, “She is fearless, that I cannot teach her.” Her name is Oksana Baiul, Olympic ice-skating world champion 1993.
In an Arab tale, a chief with his caravan was leaving Baghdad and met pestilence or death on its way to the city. The chief asked, “Why are you in such a hurry?” “To take five thousand lives,” was the answer. Several weeks later, the chief was returning and death was leaving. “You lied and took twenty-five thousand lives,” complained the chief. “No,” replied death, “I took five thousand, fear took the others.”
Fear has plagued most of us. Some were real and some were imaginary. Regardless of its nature, it has held us captive and even subdued us. We have not become what we would like to be for lack of trying in fear that we may fail. Fear is not a healthy condition but being fearless is. Being fearless is not being foolhardy. It has to do with overcoming handicaps and personal limitations in order to improve our skills, our living conditions and even our relationships. How the can we become fearless?
John Zebedee believed that “perfect love drove out fear” (I Jn.4: 18). It is the principle that if we love someone, something or ourselves so much that we are willing to face and endure all obstacles for the purpose of raising our standard of life. Who among us can be perfect in love? The word “perfect” itself may discourage us from trying. The Greek used “teleia” and it has to do with our human ability and not with divine perfection. It stands for being complete, whole, sound and total. We must give all we are and all we have to succeed. No partial effort can satisfy. It is unfortunate that most of us are content to live on the outskirts of love, because we are afraid that it may overwhelm us. Jesus encouraged His followers, “Fear not, little flock, for it pleases the Father to give you the kingdom” (Lk.12: 32).
Let us be fearless and add to our life that we feel is still missing in 2010.