Our summer vacation, last week, was filled with some much needed relaxation, family time and the acquisition of a new skill. The lake we visited, had two Sea-Doos available for our use. My cousin offered to teach me how to operate one, so I could join in the fun with my kiddos. I quickly declined, thinking she and my husband could drive the children, and I would watch safely from the shore. But, my former favorite relative refused to take no for an answer, and I found myself gripping a thin, plastic strap, on the back-end of a floating deathtrap, as she took off across the lake. I inadvertently introduced my five year old, who sat gleefully in the middle seat, to a few terror-infused curse words that spilled out of my mouth and into the wake.
“How do you like it?” my cousin shouted with a grin.
“I don’t!” I yelled back.
“What’s the worst thing that could happen?” she reasoned.
“I go flying off this thing into the lake.” I retorted. Water always looks cushioning until you plow into it at 40 miles per hour.
There was a time, in my younger years, when I would water ski behind a speedboat, without a second thought. In fact, there were many things that I never hesitated to try. What is it about becoming older that causes us to be so practical, rational and many times, ruled by fear?
“For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.” 2 Timothy 1:7
God did not give us a spirit of fear, yet how many times do I allow it to prevent me from experiencing moments that turn out to be absolutely amazing? Why do I let worry and anxiety dissuade me from taking a risk, stepping out in faith or exploring the lesser traveled road?
What truly is the worst thing that can happen?
Well, death, if you’re on a watercraft being driven by the female equivalent of "Evil" Knievel.
But, in life, even if we end up failing, there is so much to learn and enjoy while we are on the journey.
Over the next few days, my confidence on the Sea-Doo grew. There is something terrifyingly wonderful about flying across the water in synchronicity with the waves.
Pleased with my progress, I offered to take two of my children out for a ride. All four refused.
“Dad’s much faster. We’ll go with him.”
I narrowed my eyes and glared at each one.
Finally my four year old, who I feel strongly has Mensa capabilities, begrudgingly said, “Ok mama. I’ll go with you.” I beamed at his overwhelming support. My preteen plopped in the third seat and his lackadaisical expression challenged me to show him my skills.
I took off across the water at a speed that must have been close to breaking the sound barrier.
“You must admit, I am getting quite good on this thing,” I cockily yelled over my shoulder. He responded by raising an eyebrow and showing he wasn’t even holding on.
I shook my head and squeezed the gas. I wasn’t about to let fear, or a hard to impress adolescent, hold me back from enjoying an incredible experience.
I wonder if the 2016 Summer Olympics has a competitive Sea-Doo event? This mama may have to make a run for the gold.
How about you? Have you ever let fear stop you from doing something that may have been an amazing experience? I'd love to hear about it - comment below!
Written By: Jennifer Louise Diaz
Jennifer Louise Diaz is a writer, ministry leader and motivational speaker. She has a degree in social work, and her years working in this profession have ignited her passion for helping women find their buried laughter, faith and joy. Jennifer's love of comedy, the written word and storytelling create an engaging platform to share her message, both on-line and in person. Jennifer publishes a free weekly devotional called "Devo on the Go." Two minutes devotions that a busy mom can do anytime, anywhere.
Visit her website at www.jenniferlouisediaz.com.