Climbing In — October 5, 2011


Dollie just returned from Miami, Florida, with the new van we purchased.  (Of course, I’ve already told you two things that aren’t exactly true.  It is not a new van, but rather, the newest model we can afford. And secondly, we didn’t exactly purchase it–we put some money down on it and now we have an addressable monthly installment.)  Dollie had spent two weeks playing “Grandma” while my son and daughter-in-law were in Europe.

Now, the main concern with this van was whether I would be able to get into the driver’s seat easily. Having acquired two bad knees and a body which does not have much will to lift itself very high anymore, there was a question about my portability for such a maneuver.  I know to some of you this may seem strange or maybe even pathetic, but of course, I might be equally concerned over your apprehension about writing a daily 1,000-word essay for the Internet.  Bluntly, we all have enough “weird” in us to make us normal.

So before the van arrived, I was curious about my ability to ascend to the throne. Once curiosity has been visited two or three times, it transforms itself into doubt. Doubt is where we live until the actual threat to our being arrives and then suddenly, we sprout a full dose of uncontrolled fear. It’s sneaky stuff.

If we were smart, we would speak our concerns aloud during the curious phase and get many of them relieved by other fellow-travelers sharing their experience and faith in us. But usually we keep curiosity to ourselves until it mutates into doubt. Now, doubt it really hard to share with anyone–because as good Americans we have been taught to free ourselves of negativity and always look on the bright side of life and to “believe, believe, believe.”  So if we can’t sprout that crop of energetic hopefulness, we tend to want to keep it to ourselves. But when doubt sits in our hearts, it is just waiting for an excuse to become afraid.

So when the van pulled up and it was my time to go out and climb in, my curiosity, which had become doubt, exploded in a burst of fear.  So my attempts to get into the vehicle were really feeble.  I cast aside everything I knew and tried to climb straight up into it, which forced me to use my knee to pivot in the seat, causing pain and making me begin to believe I would be unable to use this blessing which I had acquired. The second attempt was even worse–fear was now in control.

Anyone watching would have had a great hoot and holler over my contortions, especially if they were the types to be drawn to sideshow events–a two-headed frog in a mason jar.

I stopped trying. 

No, that’s good. Attempts made in fear only reinforce the idea that we are helpless. Instead, I went backwards. I sat in my room overnight and addressed my doubts. Why did I think I wasn’t going to be able to get in that van? Why did I feel that something I had accomplished before was now beyond my ability? Dealing with those doubts returned me to my curious phase. I realized that my curiosity was more about the fact that I did not want to dread driving.  Good point!

So the next morning, with no audience around, I opened the door of the van and looked at it. I allowed my brain to work instead of my trepidation. I discovered there were two steps and even a handle to assist me to enter. It was inspiring and hilarious at the same time, as I simply followed a pattern of thinking and entered my new van without any trouble. I haven’t perfected it yet, making it a part of my mental bank, but that’s just a matter of time.

Progress is all God asks of anybody–and the only enemy of progress is fear.  And the mother of fear is doubt.  Doubt is allowed to hang around because we have not thoroughly answered our curiosities.

Will I be able to transfer this information I learned about climbing into my van to the next adventure? I hope so. 

But of course, hope only works if you don’t allow your curiosity to kill your cool cat.


Jonathan sings “Let”

Jonathan Sings “Spent This Time”

Jonathan and his partner, Janet Clazzy, play “The Call”


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