What fears do you have?

What fears do you have?

During these winter months, our focus has been more doing the home improvements on the inside of our cabin. One of these projects is installing two ceiling fans with lighting in the main living area, which is great, except these beams by which we are hanging these fans are 20 feet from the floor. This fear of heights, my friends, is known as acrophobia.

In my younger days, heights weren’t as much of a problem. My brother Jim and I built two storage sheds ourselves with a 25-foot peak. Our hay mow was always stuffed to the peak of the roof, and you know whose job it was to climb up there and then find a way down. Many of you know what I’m talking about.

“But Bob, how can you be afraid of heights when you spend so much time in a tree hunting?” Once I have my Hunter Safety System latched on to my vest, I’m good. So as I’m working on these ceiling fans, guess what? I have my vest on, and I’m locked on to the beams.

“But don’t you and your wife fly a lot on your hunting trips?” Yes, we do. As a matter of fact, our Africa hunt had a 16-hour flight over the Atlantic Ocean and back, and we are scheduled to go back near the end of April. On top of that, I don’t swim well. To overcome those fears — pteromerhanophobia (fear of flying) and thalassophobia (fear of deep water) — I pray to God, “In your hands,” relying on his protection.

What is it you’re afraid of? Everybody has a phobia that makes them afraid. Anybody that says different is afraid of someone finding out what they actually are afraid of.

I did a little research on the “phobias” to find the most common ones. Besides those I mentioned, claustrophobia, the fear of enclosed spaces, is a common one. Melissophobia, the fear of bees, is another I share. If you’ve been stung once or many times, it remains in the brain not to get too close, especially if you’re allergic.

Then there’s ophidiophobia (no, I’m not making these up), the fear of snakes. Remember Indiana Jones’ famous quote, “I hate snakes”? I’m not a fan, either. Remember one of the first “natives” I met down here in Kentucky was a 7-foot king snake (nonpoisonous) who let me know I got too close, but we do have several of the poisonous varieties. While in Africa, we were told to be on guard for snakes including the mamba, which is one of the most deadly in the world.

I could go on and on describing the fears we face including panphobia, which is the fear of everything.

But just a few days ago, my wife and I sat down and watched the Broadway production, “Hamilton” by Lin-Manuel Miranda, who also plays the lead part. I had heard so much about it, and I’ve always had an interest in history. By the way, if you’ve not seen it, I highly recommend it.

The story is of Alexander Hamilton (1755-1804), who was one of our country’s founding fathers and became our first secretary of the treasury. One of the points I took from the play was Mr. Hamilton had a haunting fear. With all of the heroic and strong fortitude this man possessed, his phobia was how he would be remembered. His legacy haunted him, and he died trying to preserve it.

Friends, I leave you with this. When I pass from this earth, I’m not afraid people will remember me as a singer, salesman, writer, farmer, definitely not a swimmer, hunter, sportsman, teacher, jokester, builder, artist and all those things that make my life.

What I care most is they will say, “He loved the Lord.”

What are you afraid of?

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