For those of you who didn't know my living situation when I was still on Mill Creek Road, my grandmother lived in a brick house on the very top of the hill with our white house at the bottom. Since she lived right there, it goes without saying that I was very close to her. One thing some people didn't know about Granny was that she was afraid of animals with hooves; cows, horses, goats etc would all make her a little uneasy. This fact was slightly humorous because of where our properties lay. To the North, South, and East of us were cow pastures, and to the West was a horse field. Oh goodie!
Now those of you who have dealt with cattle before realize that not only are they stupid but they have a certain knack for getting out of their fencing. That didn't happen entirely too often but it still happened. And on this one summer day, it happened. I was in my room watching television waiting to go to work when I got a phone call from Granny. "Wes, those cows are out I think they belong to the ones beside of us. They're all over the hill tearing up the grass. What are we going to do?"
I calmly told her to please stay inside and just watch through the window because I was going to take care of everything. I tried as best I could to convey that I did not need her to help me and that she would be best indoors. So I put on my old shoes, grabbed a walking stick I had behind my bedroom door and headed out to meet these cattle. Little did I know that one of them was right there at the deck staring me in the face. So I clicked my tongue and tapped the cow on the backside with the stick to get it to moving. It worked perfectly. I got Bessie on up the hill where I saw the hole in the fence. There were about six cows total but in a matter of four minutes I had them all corralled and walking toward the hole in the fence. Things were looking fairly well for my plan and I was feeling pretty good about myself.
And then it happened. I was watching the cattle and the hole in the fence not paying attention to any other surroundings. Suddenly I saw one cow look up the hill towards Granny's house, then another, then another. After all of them were staring up the hill I looked up, and saw my grandmother walking down the hill in her usual afternoon attire, a long brown coat, and baseball cleats. She was wielding a yellow broom like a samurai warrior, pointed directly at the cattle. She stopped a good fifteen feet away from them, planted her feet into the earth and began to beat the broom on the ground while shouting like a wartime action hero. "AAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!"
Needless to say panic spread through the bovine community instantaneously. Thankfully they were all pointed toward the hole in the fence anyway so they ran straight for the fence bursting through it and leaving a hole twice the size of the original. Granny proceeded to grin widely as she dusted off her hands and walked back up the hill. I stood there dumbfounded.
This one may be a bit of a stretch but this is what first came to mind.
What are you afraid of? Is there a situation in your life right now that is causing you to shy away or panic? I'd like for you to take just a moment to ponder on this(or not.) Think about whether or not something is causing you to be afraid, what that something is, and what it is doing to you.
On the same note, how do you cope with fear? Do you have a usual method for overcoming it, or are you lost in the panic?
I know i can often times be a very paranoid person. Fear is a master manipulator and it will dictate how you live your life. Don't let it! Think about all the things that you used to be afraid of and if applicable, how you felt after it happened and was done with. Usually the build-up is far worse than the actual event. I remember in first grade we were doing a taste test in the cafeteria for science, and my teacher said "Also you will HAVE to taste something bitter tomorrow!" The thought of something bitter kept me up and deprived me of sleep that night, but when the actual taste test happened it was no big deal at all and I felt silly for being afraid. I still feel silly for that but I was only six, what can you expect?
Next time you are faced with a fear or anxiety, remember those times that you were afraid of something till it happened and how it wasn't that much of a big deal. Another key thing to do is talk to a friend, a parent, someone who you trust and look up to for guidance. Actually follow that guidance! I know that may sound silly but I can't tell you how many times I have listened to advice and done my own thing, or given people advice and they still did whatever they wanted; yet somehow I and those other people seem surprised that things ended badly when we didn't follow the advice. But what about the big things? What about true phobias, trauma, or horrible events in life? Things that you can't pull yourself out of; things you don't want to share with your peers. Well there's a simple answer to that one.
I know some of you reading this may not believe in God but I certainly do. Jesus can help you with your fears. He's called The Great Comforter after all. In Psalm 23 Verse 4, the Bible says "Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me." David, the author of Psalms, was talking about the fear of death and that God can comfort even in that situation. There is nothing too big that God cannot handle it. So if you are afraid of something today turn it over to Him and he will surely help you through.
Will you be like my grandmother and find a way to overcome the fear to do something about the situation (even if it's comical), or will you be like the cattle and panic causing more damage? (Yes this closing line is cheesy lol)