Fear Less

Saturday night Loretta and I joined some friends at Universal Studios. To be honest, we're not huge fans of Halloween, but we enjoyed getting out with the gang. After dinner together, the dozen of us like Scooby-Doo and friends, gathered our collective courage and dared the various mazes designed to haunt and scare. Like, Zoinks!

Of course, I was hesitant. Not fully healed and still unable to twist or turn, I was fine to sit it out and meet everyone at the end. And I would have too were it not for my pesky friends. But in truth, a few things helped my decision to dare it. First, our group had private security in all directions to help keep us together. And second, the characters whose job it was to frighten us along each path were not allowed to touch us. Spook us, yes. Lunge at us, absolutely. But as long as I kept calm, I could walk in a straight line without fear; no need to react, wince or balk.

So like -- "gangway!" -- off we went. As we entered each maze, I literally found myself going through both a physical and mental checklist. First, I stood up tall, drew my core in tight and thought to myself 'nobody can touch you Jimmy. Don't react, don't wince, don't balk, just walk.'

Well, I foiled them. And halfway through the night I wrote this entry. As the skeletons in the closet attempted to trap me and the shadowy unknown tried to paralyze me, I thought of each of you. I figured, during a week designed to playfully frighten us, let's unmask fear -- the good fear, bad fear and the beginning-of-wisdom kind of fear. Hopefully when all is said and done, we can echo the psalmist when he wrote, "When I am afraid I will trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, In God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can mortal men do to me?" (Psalm 56:3-4)

Let's have a good week in this maze of grace. Oh, and one more thing, let's remember to stick together.

--Jimmy Peña

Next StepUPDATE: Jimmy's next step in therapy last week was lifting opposite limbs off the floor simultaneously. Not an easy move, even for the healthy spine, but slowly but surely, he's working his way back. You can leave your prayers and/or messages of encouragement below or e-mail them direct to jimmy@prayfit.com.

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