The Man Who Didn’t Want to Fly

kkRight before I returned to work after lunch with my wife and son, I ran by the eye doctor to pick up some contacts. When I arrived, the doors were still locked. The employees had not yet returned from lunch. There was another man waiting outside the door in his late 50’s or early 60’s. We were both standing there so I introduced myself. He was very friendly.

I asked him if he had lived here in Picayune all of his life. He had. Next, he proceeded to tell me that he had actually never been further than Wichita Falls, Texas. In case you are wondering, that is a distance of approximately 670 miles. As we talked, he mentioned that one of the main reasons he had never ventured farther was that he was afraid to fly.

As I drove to work, I mulled this over in my head. Everyone is afraid of something. The question is, “What are you most afraid of?” For this man, his fear of dying in a plane trumped all other fears. For example, if his #1 fear was that his life would be boring or empty of adventure rather than dying, he would have went ahead and boarded a plane at some point in his past. He might still have been afraid of dying, but this fear would have bowed before his greater fear of not experiencing all that life had to offer. In the movie Braveheart, William Wallace said, “Every man dies, not every man really lives.” How sad that for most people, including Christians, we are more afraid of failing or flopping than jumping into midair with faith and hope that God might have something more.

The point of this story is not necessarily that you travel or go far away. Life and adventure and meaning look really different from one person to the next. The point is for you to raise the hood, take a look, and see if there is a fear (or fears) that is suffocating what is in your deep heart. Fear is a horrible thief.

As far me, I am more afraid of not experiencing new things, of not taking adventures, of not seeing new worlds than I am of dying. Playing it safe with the one life I have been given is what really terrifies me. Whatever it is, face your fear, get on your plane, and realize that whatever fear it is that controls you is something you cannot afford to bow to any longer. Discard it ASAP because if you don’t, you are going to look in the rear-view mirror and be full of regret.

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