I reflect back on the time I played soccer with regret. I never gave it my all. Events in 2009 forever scarred my little ninth grade mind. I feared failure above all else, and, consequently, for the next four years I refused to perform to the best of my ability. I was constantly afraid that it wouldn't be good enough. It was better to know that when my 75% wasn't good enough, it was only my 75%. Being a member of a relatively "successful" family and my Dad's incessant questions about my future didn't help the situation.
Today, I sit and wonder if I've been doing this on my spiritual journey. What role have I allowed fear to play in my walk through life?
"There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love."1 John 4:18
How often do I fail to love! To truly love yourself, others, and God himself, fear must be annihilated. Love, in its purest form, is selfless. It is aware, but unconcerned with the possibility of failure and rejection. Love plunges headlong into the deep end. It is honest when the truth is uncomfortable. Love encourages, without fear of appearing uncool or being unappreciated. Love refuses to be indifferent, even when others are. Love sacrifices for the benefit of friends, family, and enemies. Love leaves it all on the field. The only way this can become a reality in our lives is if we can grasp that we are truly known and irreversibly accepted by the One who perfected love on the cross. Only from that place of security can we draw the strength we need to love. No reserves. No retreats. No regrets.