Fear of Falling

photo-2When I was a kid, there were no such things as bike helmets. (Yes, I am a dinosaur.) We rode our bikes with reckless abandon down hillsides and dirt paths without having the proper wheels for such endeavors. We’d crash into each other on a regular basis. I remember once wiping out on gravel while I raced my sister, scraping all the skin off the outside of my right leg.

It hurt for a week. Then I was biking again. A little stiff. But pedaling.

The world has somehow gotten bigger and scarier since I was young. Or we’ve just become more aware of how tough things can be. No longer would any parent worth his or her salt allow their child to ride a bike helmetless. In our school system, if you ride your bike to school without a helmet, and you’re under the age of 16, you and your parents will get a ticket.

Let’s hear it for helmet head.

My granddaughter, Isley, fully appreciates the need for protection. She’s a low-flying object waiting to impact any other object, animate or inanimate, in her path. She and her sister and two brothers live life full out, full on, eyes wide open. Open eyes, however, don’t always embrace obstacles well. My grandkids have all managed to encounter the pitfalls of life. Bumps, bruises, scrapes. falling down, being knocked down, being taken down. Life can be painful.

Hence the helmet.

Does Isley know how to put it on right? Not so much. But when she learns to ride a bike–or when she’s on the back of mom’s bike–she will wear a helmet.

It’s all about safety. Protection.

We all want protection. We all want to know we’re safe. It’s why I check to make sure my doors are locked at night. Why I double check the sliding glass door.

But sometimes fear gets the better of me. When I’m alone at night and no one else is there to talk to, I begin to imagine the worst. When I can’t get ahold of my kids, my mind wanders down the dark path. When John gets stuck in traffic and doesn’t call, I can get weirded out. Really fast.

Fear can be all consuming. It can trip me up, pitch me to the ground and do a tap dance on my back.

I want protection.

More than a helmet.

Too often, I’m looking for that help in places I won’t find it. In people. In things.

God offers His protection without demanding anything from us in return. He alone is powerful enough, loving enough, gracious enough to draw us into a relationship with Him that provides hope for us in all things. The hope of His presence with us now. The promise of our presence with Him in heaven.

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.”   Isaiah 41:10

His protection is complete. Perfect. Eternal.

Say goodbye to helmet head.

One response to “Fear of Falling”

  1. My word-for-2013 is courage, because I too can struggle with fear. I don’t like the goofy-looking, uncomfortable, hair-smashing bike helmets (I am also a bit vain!)… But I do like the peace that comes from relying on God’s protection. Thanks for this sweet reminder, Dayle! Looking forward to our lives intersecting more in the days ahead!


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