Tuesday, 31 August 2010


I am convinced that the older you get, the more you start fearing things. This is not about phobias like spiders, the dark or ghosts, but things like falling over and hurting yourself.

As a child, I don't ever recall fear stopping me from running at top speed, hurtling towards a goal, trying a new sport or climbing up a high vantage point (I grew up in Singapore, we don't have that many trees to climb).

My knees were constantly scabby from falling over. I would cry from the pain, scratch the wound, pick at the scab, and then forget to learn my lesson and start running all over the place again.

Fast forward a few years and suddenly fear sets in. I bungee-jumped when I was 18, but I can assure you there was not so much courage there as a fear and general wonderment as to why I had even wanted to do something like launch myself out of a crane several hundred kilometres up in the air only secured by a giant rubber band.

I have never had a fear of heights but today, I hesitate to walk to the edge of a cliff with a sheer drop and being on a tall building sometimes makes me feel like visiting the toilet in a hurry. And when it came to my skydiving experience, that first step off the plane was probably one of the scariest thing I had ever done.

And over the last few years as I'm trying to master the art of snowboarding, the simple fear of falling over and hurting myself has prevented me from snowboarding properly.

How is it that fear sets in when we get older? Do we get "wiser"? Do our bones get more fragile? Do we become wusses?

Is it why Jesus said, "I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it" (Mark 10:15), because as we get older, we actually "fear" the kingdom of God and what it actually means?

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