“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea.” – Psalm 46:1-2
My wife’s grandfather, whose name was Cecil, was one of the most fearless men I’ve ever met. I don’t think he was afraid of the old devil himself as the saying goes. One time we were out fishing on a ranch near where he lived when we encountered a huge rattlesnake. As my heart rate spiked to about a thousand beats per minute, my instinct was to run, but not old Cecil, who was in his mid-eighties at the time. “Find me something,” he said calmly. But before I could respond he reached down on the ground and picked up an old piece of a broken tree branch that was no more than about two feet long. He then began walking around the snake in a circle taunting it, and every time the snake reared up to strike Cecil would whack it on the head. All I could think of was how to get him to the nearest hospital after he got bit, which he never did. Cecil just kept smacking that old rattler on the head until he won the battle. He was fearless!
Cecil loved speed – cars, motorcycles, airplanes, anything – and age didn’t slow him down. Once he was stopped by a state trooper for speeding and after the patrolman finished writing his citation Cecil asked the man which direction he was going from there. When the cop pointed to the east Cecil thanked him and said he thought he’d go west, that way the guy wouldn’t catch him again. He was fearless!
I’m not nearly as fearless as Cecil, but I do find that with age I have become more so. A couple of years ago I had an experience that almost took my life. What amazed me when that occurred was that I never felt fear – not at all. Now it could be that after so many years life had simply prepared me to handle such situations. But I really think it has more to do with growing closer to God “who is my refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore I do not fear.” I suspect my grandfather-in-law, Cecil, felt the same way. In fact, I’m pretty certain of it; for he remained fearless all the way to age ninety-five when he drew his last breath. He was fearless! – which has had a great influence on my growing to be more fearless too.