I recently attended a conference at an isolated campsite a couple of hours’ drive from home. The location was peaceful, with a small lake nearby bordered by distant, low, rolling hills. Walking before breakfast, I discovered mist-shrouded paddocks of cows, kangaroos and birds. As I walked towards the lake, horses fed by the water’s edge. Approaching, three slowly walked towards me, curious. A little wary at first, they soon realised I was a friend and two began nuzzling my arms and chest, sniffing my hands and pockets, in search of food. I had none. My enjoyment gradually turned to fear.
I’m a city girl, unused to large animals. My mind began to overthink things. What if these horses got annoyed because I had no food? What if they stopped gently nuzzling and bit or kicked me? Nothing indicated this would happen; the horses were incredibly gentle, yet my mind raced to possible scenarios. Slowly backing away, I was followed by my new friends. How would I ‘escape’? They eventually lost interest and I walked away, completely unharmed.
Why couldn’t I be fully in the moment and enjoy these magnificent creatures? I’ve never been hurt by horses in the past, yet I feared the possibility. Although every indication I had was that they were gentle and friendly, I was alone with animals I had little experience with and fear began to take over. I was, in fact, perfectly safe.
Too often I overthink things and allow fear to steal my joy.
Today, I commit to be more in the moment, to enjoy experiences as they occur and not give fear the power to steal my joy in everyday moments.
“Fear steals your joy and enthusiasm. Focus on Faith; let God deal with your fear.” – Joel Osteen.