we watch a good bit of scooby doo in our house. and while i love scooby doo, i must admit that if you've seen one episode, you've essentially seen them all since they all follow the same basic plot arc, without much deviation. as an adult, i can usually get past this and just enjoy it for its campy, creepy cartoonish fun. but when you're a kid, you're clueless to the formula, and each episode seems like a brand new "how-will-it-end?" adventure, full of intrigue and suspense, until the bad guys are unmasked and the gang is referred to as meddling kids before scooby croons his famous show-ending line. it's classic, and for my kids at least, it's new everytime.
there's a lesson there about being childlike. but that's not what i'm thinking about today.
during the "scary" parts of scooby doo, my brave little 6-year old gets visually scared. i often turn my attention away from the animated drama to the real-life drama unfolding on our couch. first, his eyes widen. then his body gets rigid. then he covers his eyes. his breath shallows and quickens. and finally, when it just gets too intense, jack gets off the couch and gets as far away from the tv as he can while still being able to see it. he literally leaves the room and goes down the hall, as if moving away from the screen will somehow separate him from what is so terrifying. everytime he does it i have to chuckle at him, but i also have to consider my own response to fear.
if i'm being honest with myself, i think i have to see a little of myself in jack's anxiety. when i am faced with things that make me afraid, don't i do the same thing? don't i try to get as far away as possible, as if that will make it go away? i know it isn't the cultural norm to admit it, but i do get afraid. it may not be cartoons that conjure my fear, but it may be a potential conflict at work, or the distinct possibility of disappointing someone i love. and when those situations arise, aren't i prone to run the other way (maybe just far enough to keep my eye on the situation)? aren't i like a child, running away from what scares me, hoping that i won't have to deal with it?
so if you're like me and jack, moving away from the tv when it get's a little too scary, here's a word of encouragement for you today:
for God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.
2 timothy 1:7 (nlt)
so go ahead and stay on the couch. face the ghoulish sounds in the hall or that conversation you've been dreading, and face it with courage because God has not given you that fear. it only delays the inevitable. if you pray for strength, face your fear with conviction and courage, you will find that your fear will soon be unmasked as the imposter that it is. and you can yelp with a barbaric "scooby-dooby-doo!"