Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Fear Versus Panic - Chasing Mavericks

I have written a few posts on fear because I feel it is so prevalent in our lives as mothers.  Fear for what will happen to our children on the playground, fear with what will happen at college, fear with what will happen if we, as moms, don't teach everything we need to in the short time we have.

After watching an amazing movie this weekend with the family, I have found a new appreciation for fear.

The movie is called Chasing Mavericks and it is the true story of Jay Moriarity, a teenage surfer who surfed one of the tallest waves in history. Reviews found here.

The story line is similar to The Karate Kid where boy meets mentor, mentor helps boy, boy conquers fear.  In this movie, Jay was not really afraid of the waves...he wanted to surf them, but in a letter to his mentor, Frosty, Jay opens up about what he is afraid of...losing Frosty, losing his first love, etc.

One moment in the movie dealt with more than just a list of what you could be afraid of.  In fact, this moment was a paradigm shift for me as far as how I relate to fear:

Jay and Frosty were diving in the water practicing holding their breath ( Jay needed to get to four minutes to even consider surfing the Mavericks) and as the were about to come up for air, a great white shark swam above them (Mini Sploiler Alert: They make it out).  When they get to the boat, Frosty asks Jay what happened.

     "I was afraid," Jay answered visiably upset about the incident.
     "Yeah, well fear is healthy, panic is dangerous," Frosty wisely teaches the young man.

Fear is healthy...panic is dangerous.

Now, I know that Jesus says, "Do not fear, for I am with you,"  but we are also taught to, "Fear the Lord."

So instead of going into the theological definitions of this fear and that fear, I am going to stick with what Frosty said:

Fear is healthy, panic is dangerous.

My child might be afraid to ride his bike in the road rally, but he finds the courage to do it anyway.
My daughter might be afraid to stand up for herself to a bully, but she has the courage to stand up for Jesus.

When you are in the water and a great white shark is swimming above you.  You are going to feel fear, but if you panic and thrash about, you will draw attention to yourself and the end will be near.  If you control your fear and do not panic, the shark will swim away ( hopefully...).

What areas in my life cause me to fear ...and what throw me into an unhealthy panic? What about you?

I can fear my words might do harm (because they will) to my children if I am sarcastic or harsh, and in response that fear can turn into a prayer of, "Please, God, soften my words and fill me with your peace."

I can get myself upset about my circumstance, but when those emotions turn to a panic, when I feel so out of control and thrash about, I am not trusting in God to give me more breath...to give me His breath, His patience, His wisdom.

I pray that today you will be able to spend a few minutes with Jesus and allow Him to help you catch your breath.


Jillian Carreira said...

I am interested in watching this movie since it is about facing your fears. I enjoyed reading this post and I am following you now.
I would love for you to follow back.

Michelle said...

What a great post! I struggle with fear a lot...so many unknowns in craziness in a world that I have to trust my family in every day. I love when movies touch something inside us and God uses it to help us find deeper understanding and peace:)

Doriss Blog said...

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Unknown said...

I watched the movie and found this page as a result of looking for the full quote on fear vs. panic. You should watch the scene again, where Frosty is talking about it, because you missed the point by trying to graft religious connotations to the issue. Overcoming panic is about identifying the fear, not trusting in some outside force to help and protect you.

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