Down is Not an Option

Last week when we moved into our apartment in Indiana, our one-year-old beagle, Brewster, initially had some trouble with the stairs. He had no problem going down, but since the steps are open with no “back” to them, we guessed either he was afraid of falling through, or the openness confused his vision. At any rate, he did not want to walk up the steps.

Although we carried him the first day, I knew he would have to learn how to go up on his own. Using some of his favorite treats placed just past his nose, I slowly lured him one cautious step at a time. If I moved too quickly, he pulled on his leash and tried to go back down. At one point during this very tedious process, I told Brewster, “Sorry, bud. Down is not an option.”

There are times as leaders when it would be easier to back down, out, or away from a challenge. But doing so does not eliminate the problem, it only delays it. Sometimes you just have to face your fears one step at a time. Down is not an option.

Epilogue: After just three training trips where I increased the intervals before he got a treat, Brewster learned to fearlessly navigate the stairs on his own. What challenge do you need to face head-on instead of trying to go back down?

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One thought on “Down is Not an Option

  1. Down is not an option. But how often we live in fear. Fear of the unknown, fear of the past, fear of failure, even fear of success. Jeremiah 29:11 reminds me that the Lord has great plans for me and Phillipians 4:13 assures me that with Christ I can do all things after all God is on my side(Romans 8:31. These verses are one that often give me strength to go upward. But, I have to meditate on them in my heart not just recite them.

    This past week I faced an extremely difficult situation-meeting a family member who had bullied me, rejected me and refused my previous attempts to reconcile. I have lived in fear of meeting face to face ever again. I finally got up the courage to ask them to meet with me. While I sat waiting my heart was pounding and I contemplated backing out of the meeting.

    I prayed and read my Bible while I was waiting-it did not help. Then I realized that words do no change the situation. I had to embrace the words-believe them-act on them. Like Brewster, I needed a treat to encurage me up the stairs. It was then that I envisioned handing my quaking heart to Jesus and begging Him to take it and protect it. He did just that. My meeting went well, I never once felt my heart palpitations during our hour and a half meeting. You see Jesus is that special prize waiting for us to give our burdens to Him.

    He certainly took mine and once again proved that apart from Him I can do nothing.

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