It all happened on our jungle journey at the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo. We had seen orangutans, various other monkeys, and some animal Maggie and I refer to as the Tree Beaver.
We were rounding the corner of the wooden walkway through the thick jungle environment. As I turned to my left…there it was…a hideously grotesque monster (komodo dragon) that had escaped out of its cage! I spun the stroller around and took off……okay…maybe that is not how it all went down.
The reality was…it is a children’s zoo. Occasionally you will come across a life-size statue of the animals at the zoo for the kids to climb on and/or take pictures with. Granted…it was bronze…but in my defense…it looked real at first glance.
And…I did not run off like a terrified little boy. But…my heart did skip a beat. I did think it was real at first. And…for a brief second…I thought I would, at that very moment, be laying down my life for my family (I think I did jerk a little on the stroller to get it behind me).
The threat: non-existent
The fear: 100% real
This is the problem in churches all around the world. We are afraid of…the non-existent threats. Many times, we fail to start new ministries to reach new people because we think the world is against us. Finances are against us, people are against us, and our schedules are against us.
In regards to leadership, we often fear hiring people who are more gifted than ourselves. We see those who are more gifted as a threat to our position, our power, our importance, etc.
In our own personal lives, we often fear stepping out in faith. We look around the world and see a world that will not accept our message. We see a community that rejects what we preach, teach, and share. We look at ourselves and see a person who is not gifted, not talented, and not important enough. So…instead of stepping out in faith and helping others find the grace of God…we sit back and do nothing.
I don’t think it was by accident that shortly after seeing that demon of a statue in the jungle there was a sign. A sign that answered this dilemma of giving way to the perceived threats that are not really threats at all. The sign read:
The greatest mistake anyone can make is to do nothing because they could only do little.
Perceived threats can do that. When was the last time you kept yourself from doing something because of a perceived threat?