June 12, 2016

How to Feed Your Faith, not Your Fear



I don’t know about you, but my life rarely goes as planned. I am blessed with a loving family, a nice home, food, and medical care. I’m fully aware those attributes give me reason enough to be grateful because, frankly, some people have none of them. On the other hand, I have at least three ongoing trials that constantly overwhelm me with fear, if I allow it, despite my advantages.

Now, my blessings are many, and my problems are huge, but few. I must make a choice every minute of every day to focus on the blessings or the challenges.  I must make the conscious decision to feed my faith--or my fear.

Sunflowers

Nothing can grow if it is not fed. That’s basic science. Let’s put the process of feeding and growth in perspective:



These are sunflower seeds. They are supposed to grow into sunflowers, like the one pictured below. A mature sunflower will grow from 2 to 12 feet tall.


Will the seed grow into the flower if it isn’t planted, watered, and nurtured? Well, no. Absolutely not.  It will remain a tiny seed. It will be good for eating, but then it will be gone. Its life will be over. Done.  Conversely, if it is properly tended, it will turn into a sunflower. Each sunflower head contains 1,000 to 2,000 seeds. In other words, the one sunflower kernel is multiplied by anywhere from 1,000 to 2,000.

The Moral of the Story

We make the constant decision whether to nurture our seeds of faith, or our seeds of fear. That choice might be conscious or unconscious. The faith can blossom into a beautiful life that’s an example of victory despite the odds. Conversely, the fear can become a literal prison of darkness that keeps us mired in despondency.

Examples of Feeding Hope/Faith:

Muhammed Ali
The recently deceased boxing icon refused to accept perceived limitations from a young age. He certainly didn’t become the Heavyweight Champion of the World by feeding his fear. His final challenge was an over 30-year battle with Parkinson’s disease.
An article on visiontimes.com gives a brief eulogy of this incredible man. The raw strength of his hope is evident in quotes like these:
“If my mind can conceive it, and my heart can believe it, then I can achieve it.
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“Braggin’ is when a person says something and can’t do it. I do what I say.”
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“I’ve wrestled with alligators. I’ve tussled with a whale. I done handcuffed lightning. And threw thunder in jail.”
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Now, that’s a man who says “No!” to fear! His words aren’t fancy, but they resonate deeply and powerfully. They make you want to stand up and shout “Yea!!!!!! I can do anything, too!”
Carol Graham
This ultra-wise online friend’s main philosophy in life can be summed up by a saying she picked up from her late, beloved father: “Do it right. Do it now.” In a recent article, she discusses how she started a business of catering desserts. Carol has also ventured into many other kinds of hobbies and businesses throughout her adult life.  She is a prime example of feeding faith instead of fear.
My Conclusion

“Don’t give in to your feelings; starve them.”—Joyce Meyer
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“What are you expecting and seeing in your future?”—Joyce Meyer
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“For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love, and self-discipline.”—2 Timothy 1:7 (NIV)

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Are you nurturing your fear, or your faith?