Replacing fear and ignorance with a new perspective

  • Written by Claudia Parker



This may be rather risky, but I’m going to share a spring break story from my past. It’s one of those trips where I did something that could raise an eyebrow or two. It occurred in March of 2013.

My family and I were on a frosty spring break vacation in Lake Geneva, Wis. We've been there numerous times but never while the lake was frozen. A crunchy layer of snow covered the glass block ice that sat atop the freezing water beneath. “Magnificent” I thought, as we strolled along the beach. We were fortunate that 40 degree temperatures and the sun had graced us with its presence. In weeks prior, the highs had been 28 degrees. Those consecutive cold days had strengthened the confidence of the tourists. They were dancing, skipping and fishing on the ice.

“Are they nuts?” I commented to my spouse, Don. "That’s just not a risk I’d take." I pointed to a little girl presumed to be the age of 3. She was frolicking on the ice with her parents.

I engaged a person passing by saying, “They’re super brave, huh?”

She stopped, adjusted the zoom on her Nikon and snapped a photo. “Or super stupid,” she replied.

The more I observed, the more I wanted to know. I thought. “Why aren’t they afraid? How are they comfortable standing in a cluster? Call me antisocial because I’d have no problem saying, “Naw, don’t stand by me. There’s no need to apply stress to the area I’m standing.” I mean, if I had the audacity to try such a thing.

Funny thing is, the longer I watched the more enticing it became. Then, I dropped the hand of my then 5-year old, Donae, and said, “Stay with Daddy. I’m going on the ice.”

She tugged and pleaded. “No! Mom! It’s gonna crack. You’re gonna die!”

I wasn’t totally convinced it wouldn’t. That I wouldn’t, so I settled on a part of the lake where my feet would hit the bottom should a spontaneous plunge occur. After observing me stand successfully, Donae tore away from Don and joined me. It was about five minutes of our living wild and dangerous before we carefully eased our way back to the shore. We were high-fiving and giggling about our spring-break-gone-wild moment when one of the locals said, “You were never in any danger. The thickness of that ice can hold the weight of a car.”

I love it when the Lord allows me to have moments where He shows Himself in simple ways with meaningful impression. Our ignorance had brought about judgement and unnecessary fear. It happens more often than not. Our lack of understanding keeps us constrained by our limited experiences. Sometimes it’s a bold move that breaks the cycle of mundane. Other times its education that gives us the edge in our exploration. But, when the pull within our heart remains lured to the Call within, it’s our faith that must thrust us into the fullness God has positioned us for.

Do you find yourself standing on the sidelines in life? Are you scared and maybe even judging others for what ‘you presume’ to be a risk? Romans 14:3 says, "Let not the one who eats despise the one who abstains, and let not the one who abstains pass judgment on the one who eats, for God has welcomed him."

God has great things in store for all of us. Have a little faith to come off the shore. You just might enjoy the experience.