Thursday, December 3, 2020
As more and more people rose on Christmas Eve and Grandma got busy helping them all find breakfast, I suddenly realized why I had gotten up so early. I needed a flashlight so I could open the door behind my bed and investigate the attic. I just had to see what was in there. I went looking for my grandpa to ask him for a flashlight. He was seated in the dining room finishing his breakfast.
“Grandpa, I need a flashlight.”
“Why?” Grandpa was a man of few words, but I have never in my life met a man who so closely matched my interests. Some interests and skills are definitely inherited.
“I need to open the door behind my bed and see what’s in the attic.”
“ABSOLUTELY NOT!” Grandpa was not mean. He did not say it with anger, but I felt the force of his words. And yet, I wanted to know more.
“Why not,” I said gently.
“Because last summer we found two nests of bees in there. It’s warm enough today that they might be active. I don’t want you to get hurt.”
I had never seen a beehive, so I asked him if he could show me. He politely declined. The subject was dropped. I ran back to the kitchen to get some more food from grandma.
Fast forward six months to the following summer. My family is again visiting my grandparents in Cleveland. My brothers and I are assigned to the attic bedroom for sleeping. Once again the attic door is behind my pillow. As I crawled into bed, I remembered what my grandpa had said about bees. I was scared again. I searched everywhere I could see to make sure there were no cracks or holes where the bees could enter our bedroom. Finding none, I laid down and tried to sleep.
Two thoughts kept running through my mind: were there bees in there that could hurt me while I slept, and tomorrow, with permission, I’m going in there. I fell asleep with a mixture of fear and the excitement of conquering. I would discover later in life that the mixture of those two emotions is produced by risk, and that I like risk.
I remember thinking about the Bible story of David and Goliath. The Israelite army focused only on the fear side of risk. They were immobilized by it. But not David. He saw the risk and felt the fear but allowed the excitement of conquering to rule his choices. Add to that the fact that God was with David, and the fear factor was reduced to insignificance, and David became the conqueror of Goliath.
I believe God used that night to teach me a life lesson. I have discovered throughout my life that in Christ God is ALWAYS with me (Immanuel), so I have nothing to fear. I am motivated by the excitement of conquering.
Go ahead, take the risk if God has directed it. You can be a conqueror too.