I have recently realized that my persona has been dominated for years by a fear of rejection. My parents were caring and I love them very much, nonetheless they discouraged me from making friends. As a result, I always felt the need to prove myself worthy of acceptance.
Last summer while visiting my mom in Belgium, we made a day trip to Dunkerque. Our plan was to visit the Atlantic Wall on our way back, but it was a long trip, and on the tram back to Oostende, I fell asleep. When one of my sons jostled me back to reality, I woke up with cobwebs in my brain that seemed to have ingrained themselves in my thinking.
“Where are we?”
“At the Atlantic wall! We need to get off the tram!”
Still somewhere between reality and dreamland, I followed my family until the chalet where we could pay the entrance fee. The couple before us had just been admitted to this attraction, and I donned my nicest smile as I said, “I would like four tickets, please.”
The attendant looked at me, shocked, and with his nose up in the air, announced with a silly grin and a heavy Flemish accent, “You will have to come back!”
“Why?” I asked, pointing towards the couple that had just been admitted.
“Because you are too late! We close at 5:00, and the tour takes an hour. Our last admission is at 4:00.”
I looked at the clock, it was 4:02. “Don’t worry,” I responded, “We will be out of here by 5:00.”
“Sorry sir, you will have to come back!”
My fear of rejection started to invade me, until I woke up and realized to my horror that I had spoken to this man in English. If you want good service in Europe, it is always a good idea to at least try to speak the local language. Even if all you can say is, “Excuse me, do you speak English”, it makes a huge difference! Because I had spoken in English, this man mistook me for an indifferent foreigner.
The fear stopped right at that moment and as I looked him in the eye, I told him: “I will be back. Next year!” And I walked away with a big grin on my face.
We are confronted by a myriad of fears on a daily basis, but none of them are worthy of our consideration. When we are in God’s hands, we truly have nothing to fear!
There is one valid fear, however, one that we hardly ever consider. We often take things for granted, including our salvation. God’s Word encourages us to “Continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling.” (Phil 2:12b NIV)
Who would want to miss the boat? Who would miss out on an opportunity to spend eternity with the Lover of our soul? This is the only fear we should even consider. But if we take the time to know our Maker and Saviour, we will never even have to worry about it!
“You said that you want to come in? Why should I let you?”
“Because I personally know the owner of this place!”
(To access the entire “Fear Factor Considerations” devotional series, please click here.“