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Whether howdy or cloudy, fear not!
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How often does fear stop you from doing something you know you should do?  Would you say fear gets in your way once a month, once a week, every few days?  Perhaps it depends on your confidence level from one day to the next. On days when everything goes your way like when you hit all the green lights while driving through town, or you receive an unexpected refund in the mail, or get a promotion, your confidence level is strong and fear is nowhere to be found.  Days like that bring about the feeling, as one pastor said, like everything is “Howdy, Howdy.” 

But then there are those other days, the not-so good-confidence-crusher days.  You know what I’m talking about, they come in bunches. You wake up late all week causing you to rush out the door each morning without breakfast or worse, without coffee.  You hit every red light in town and have to stop for the longest, slowest moving train in the entire universe to pass by not once but twice in a day.  A co-worker asks you a question that you should know the answer to but don’t, and you feel foolish.   At home you come unglued over something like an unsharpened pencil lying on the floor and begin yelling irrational things at your kids about saving trees in the forest.  You go to your mail box and discover that the wise financial decision you thought you made turned out to be wrong and now you owe even more money than before. 

Tell me I’m not the only one who’s had bunches of days like this in a row.  On these days, instead of “Howdy, Howdy,” it’s more like “Cloudy, Cloudy.” 

“Cloudy, Cloudy days” have a way of throwing our self-assurance, right out the window.  It’s usually at this point when we are more susceptible to feelings of self-doubt, uncertainty and fear.  While these feelings are normal, if we spend too much time dwelling on them, we begin to allow such negative feelings to rule our thinking and our actions, often preventing us from doing things we know we should do. 

I had a couple “Cloudy, Cloudy” days in a row when I received a message from an editor that almost pushed me over my cloudy edge.   The editor asked me to write an article pertaining to a business matter.  Immediately I was over-run with insecurity because I didn’t know anything about the business topic besides the fact that it wasn’t even the type of article I would normally write.  Fear quickly set in as I pictured interviewing the necessary businessman for the article.   What if I didn’t understand his business lingo? What if he could tell I wasn’t knowledgeable on the subject and didn’t want me to interview him at all?   What if I had to go back to the editor, who believes in me and tell him, I failed?

My fear of failure was causing me great distress as I stared at my phone contemplating if I should actually call the businessman and do the interview or not.   I wasn’t sure what to do other than to pray and ask God for help.   When I was done praying, two things came to mind.  One, I was still afraid.  Two, I could either let my fear get the best of me and not even try to interview the man and write article or, I could do it afraid. 

Joshua 1:9 says “Be not afraid, for the Lord is with you wherever you go.”  This verse suggests that while we will have fear at times, we don’t have to give into our fear.  Even while we are afraid we can still do the things God asks of us every day whether it be writing an article, moving to a new town, speaking in front of a group or cleaning out frighteningly messy cupboards, we can do it afraid because God is with us and for that reason, there’s nothing to fear. 

Because I know God has given me the opportunity to write, I opted for doing it afraid.   I called the interviewee in my fear and as it turned out, the man didn’t speak in some foreign sounding business lingo, on the contrary, he was a genuine guy who explained the topic so simply that not only was I able to understand the topic but I was able to write the article with ease.

No doubt some days will be “Howdy, Howdy” while others will be “Cloudy, Cloudy” but either way, God lets us know we can always move forward each day, doing what He asks of us with our without feelings of fear for He is with us.

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