-From contributing writer Benjamin Luke Smith
It was warm but somewhat misty outside on this particular day. There I was standing at the top of an obstacle looking down. The obstacle was made out of wood and ascended at least fifty feet up in the air. The concept was to climb to the top, come to the edge of it, and jump for one of the bells in front of you while immediately landing on one of those inflatable stunt bags at the bottom on the other side. Though this seemed pretty simple, not everyone on that day was excited to do it.
As I was standing at the top, I looked over and saw a man struggling to jump. He kept thinking about it, looking at the bell in front of him, and looking back down at the inflatable stunt bag below us. It was obvious he was struggling with the height and the drop. I understood, considering about 10% of the US population suffers from the fear of heights (aka, “acrophobia”).
The volunteer on top of the obstacle with us held up the traffic of racers until this man jumped. There I was standing in one of three lanes next to him on the edge of the wood ready to jump, but I couldn’t because we were waiting for him to go first. The obstacle became congested with racers with all three lanes filled up waiting for their turn. Though I tried to show my support and be encouraging toward him in the moment, I became anxious along with the other racers waiting.
I am a believer in Christ. That means I am a man of faith. My belief system calls me to live and walk by faith. As a result, this Faith that I have overwhelms my fear. Now if you were to ask me to get in a glass coffin full of snakes, would I? No, because I have no desire to do that (but that is another story for another day). My hat goes off to those on Fear Factor that actually bring themselves to do that.
I once feared heights just like the man on top of that obstacle did. In high school, I asked my Dad if he could take me Skydiving in order to help me face my fear. We drove to the Tuskegee airfield a few weeks later and I did a tandem jump out of an airplane at 12,000 ft. in the air. My older brother accompanied me on a separate jump with the same certified instructor. I was able to watch him drift down with their parachute wide open like he watched me. Along with being a great adrenaline rush, it was an opportunity to let my faith overwhelm and ultimately conquer my fear!
Fear is the underlying force “guiding” so much of our lives and all that goes in the world. It can control us if we let it and be the motivator behind much of what we do. Will you let it control your life? People fear different things such as the unknown, change…among other things. It is all around us, which why it’s important to have Faith in these circumstances. Am I saying you have to believe in Christ to overcome fear? Not exactly though this is my personal case. I’m saying having Faith helps you overcome your fears and allows you to be free. With Faith, we are allowed to have hope in something better. It is instilled in our minds, but based in our hearts.
When we act in Faith, we act while hoping for the best but with no guarantee or certainty. This is the beauty of it. Faith overwhelms fear and allows us to live free, without limitations. This is why having Faith is important.
Benjamin Luke Smith lives in Prattville, AL. Follow Ben on Instagram @benjaminlukesmith