The Upside of Fear
"Fear takes flight in the face of God's infinite person and power! ...the upside of fear."
--Grace Fox, Moving from Fear to Freedom
Day 2 of our time here and I knew what I had to do--I had to go get groceries. That meant I had to get behind the wheel of our car.
Funny, I've been driving in this country for 13+ years. And yet, for some reason, this time I had an angst in the pit of my stomach about driving. Fear had settled there and was gnawing at me from the inside out. It was as if I truly had arrived in this country for the first time. It made no sense. But then fear often makes no sense.
Driving in this country is a unique experience if you're from North America. For one, people drive on the left side of the road, not the right. For two, the steering wheel is on the right side of the car, not the left (which only makes sense for driving on the left side). For three, our car, like most cars in this country, is a manual which means shifting gears with the left hand not the right. For some reason, I thought I'd forgotten how to drive with these changes. I felt uncertain about my ability.
I have a desk calendar sitting beside my computer. Each month has a "BUT GOD" Bible verse. January's verse is Ps. 9:18 which begins, "But God will never forget the needy..." That was me. I definitely felt needy. What I really needed was to remember that "God's infinite person and power" far surpassed my fear.
I recited Psalm 23 and got behind the wheel. Turned the key. Put the gear in first. Took my left foot off the clutch. Pressed the gas. I was away! Out the gate. Down our narrow soi (side road). Outside our neighbourhood. Out onto the highway to Big C (like a Walmart Supercentre).
I forgot how much I love driving in this country. How much I love our little Proton (made in Malaysia). How much fun it is to drive a stick.
I forgot that driving was like riding a bicycle. You simply don't forget.
I remembered how to get on and off the main highway. How to veer across two lanes of traffic from the right side to the left and the parking entrance. How to wind around into the parking lot.
I wandered the grocery aisles, as if for the first time. But I found my mind always comparing--what's new and what's old. A few changes but not many. Not surprisingly, I found comfort in the old, the familiar. Like I was being welcomed back by an old friend.
Thankfully, I remembered to have my fruits, vegetables, and sometimes meat, weighed and priced in the produce or meat section. I've forgotten that before.
There are no weigh scales at the check out counter. So if you forget, you have to leave those items with the cashier or else go back to get your items weighed, and then get back in the check out line again.
I also remembered that you'll never find everything you need in just one store. Today I went to a different store and did the same thing all over again. Some people might find that frustrating and perhaps I will once we've been here a month or two. But for now, I'm enjoying the opportunity to peruse.
After all, I'm seeing things for the first time. And I get to zip around in our little car in the process--with the Shepherd Lord (and His angels) going before me. Ahhhhh! My heart is at peace.
With God's help, I've moved from fear to freedom!