Right now I am feeling anxious. And on the surface it looks like a fear of losing (would you believe it, a cricket match!). But I know that actually I do not fear losing the match. In fact I am more anxious about trying to meet up to the expectations of playing well, of being encouraging, of being more than I am.

But actually I am feeling anxious about my work. I fear that I am too far behind, and daily I am slipping further away from my deadline. I am torn within a desire to do well, and a desire to run away from it all. I do not want to finish my work, but I feel I am fading away. I am just not able to complete it. The worry of my unfinished work is just eating me away.

The cricket match today, then, is a distraction. But could even be an unhealthy one because it is not like a drug that guarantees a high… we could lose and I may feel worse. Perhaps I fear the expectation others have of me, I am afraid of failing.

I remember using Psalm 34 in the past to encourage me when I felt just like this… when I felt a noose tightening around my neck… I would tell myself, “those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame.” Today I know that is not what the verses “actually” mean.

But just today I also read, Psalm 25, and the similar theme of not being put to shame emerged. And while I know to personalise the psalm can be poor hermeneutics, I am still struck by how I fear shame so much… how I fear failing, falling short, not being able to finish etc etc.

I am encouraged, however, even by reading Psalm 25, through the idea that life with God is a journey. Thus, God’s provision to guide, lead, help, forgive, are all helpful as I walk with God. It is not that I should be worried about finishing the race, but right now I should be focussed on running well. I want to finish well… but before I finish the race, right now, I want to keep running well.

And so, I submit my anxiety to God… and ask him to take away my fear of failure… and ask God to help me face every ball/word/challenge with courage in faith in Him.


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Passage for this Season

Philippians 2:11-13 (NIV) (12)Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, (13)for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.

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