Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Overcoming Fear of the Unknown

When we first told people about our trip, the distribution of responses was pretty bimodal: people either thought we were crazy, or it was going to be awesome.  I'll admit, my own feelings both before and during our adventure have often swung between both of those extremes: I'm excited about the opportunities our travels presents, but there are so many unknowns which at times seem insurmountable.  The natural reaction to those kinds of obstacles is fear, and as much as we try to plan and prepare, adventure always involves a step into the unknown.

Last night, as we were walking along a dark and empty road in the foothills of the Wicklow Mountains, I was focused on finding rest for my tired family and concerned about what I had gotten everybody in to and wondering where we'd sleep that night.  We eventually found our cottage and were able to get settled in, but I shall forever remember the mix of anxiety and confidence during our cellphone lit hike down an Irish country road.

Most of the decisions we make in life will involve a significant degree of uncertainty, which is part of the growing experience.  It's not always comfortable, and it's not always fun, but to deny ourselves experiencing the unknown is to deny ourselves opportunities for growth.

I know there will be more exciting and fun times on our travels, along with a few scary and fearful ones.  I hope we can continue to meet the latter with faith in the promise of the former.

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