Fear Conquered with the Help of a Friend

By Marshall McCurties

This summer while I was at camp in Michigan, I was presented with a situation where I was quite fearful. I was roped into going on a climbing trip by some of my counselors. Trips were not my thing as I had had bad experiences with them. I also did not want to venture into the wilderness of The Upper Peninsula. Needless to say, I was quite concerned about the three-day trip where we'd be climbing 150-foot rocks.

When we got there, my first test came when the group decided to explore a small island. My friend found a spot where we could jump off the island's rocks into the lake. After much persuasion, I finally worked up the courage to leap off the rock and plummet to the cold waters of northern Michigan.

Before I jumped, one of my friends told me to "let go and let God." This hit home with me and gave me the courage to jump. After the first jump, I realized that I had had so much fun doing it that I decided to jump into the water two more times.

The day after was the day we were to climb the rocks, and I was most fearful of that. The next morning when I awoke, we made breakfast on the trail. Then we went to rock climbing school. Here we learned the proper commands to say, all the safety things about the equipment, and what not to do in panic situations. I was extremely nervous about this whole experience.

I spoke to my friend about this, and he reminded me of the story of Moses. Moses was very afraid to do God's will. Moses had problems speaking publicly and was extremely nervous and timid. He did not think he had the guts to do what God had asked him to do, and neither did I.

Then my friend told me that it was Moses' job to lead the children of Israel out of slavery, and it was my job to get up to the top of the rock. Well, let's be honest: climbing a rock with friends around you, supporting you, is much easier than leading a nation out of Egypt. From then on, I was much less scared. I actually came to enjoy parts of the trip -- like repelling down 200 feet of rock the day after I was so scared to touch the slab of limestone.

When I put my problem against Moses', mine seemed a lot less significant and 100 times easier. I went from a scared-to-death state of mind to a starting-to-enjoy state of thought. My friend's support helped me a lot. I learned that fear is something that just tries to manipulate thought. I learned that fear can dissolve into the nothingness it truly is. I hope next year I will be able to do more trips that push me and help me conquer my fears.