Jan
19
2009

Fear: Do you live by it?

Eowyn of Rohirrim, The Return of the King

Sometimes I randomly browse my bookshelf in my bedroom and read parts of my books. Recently I found this gem of a quote from The Return of the King by J.R.R. Tolkein:

“If you must go, then allow me to ride in your following.” she said. “I can wield a sword, and fear niether pain nor death.”
“What do you fear, lady?” Theoden asked.
“A cage. To stay behind bars, until use and old age accept them, and all chance of doing great deeds is gone beyond recalls or desire.”

The woman speaking is Eowyn of Rohirrim, unique because of the things she fears. I am fascinated by the character of Eowyn for her personality. My question when I read the above quote is, “Am I afraid of doing nothing as Eowyn is?” The cage she speaks of isn’t literal, but figurative. What she means is that she can’t stand the idea of not doing anything heroic with her life. I find that just the opposite is true for me: I’m happier to stay on the safe side of things than I am to step out and take risks. Eowyn, however, is actually scared of being on the safe side of things all her life.

Last weekend, my dad took Lydia and me to a speech and debate tournament in Salt Lake City, Utah. Both of us were thrilled to advance to the final level of competition while there. Lydia advanced in her original oratory speech on “family creativity”. I took sixth place at the tournament in impromptu, a speech where I am given two minutes to prepare a speech on a topic, and give a five minute speech with no notes. In my final round, I addressed the topic of “Nick of time”. Among my examples of people who had to do things that were in the nick of time–like Queen Esther and Huckleberry Finn–I told my audience that our lives are only here for a small amount of time, and we need to treat each moment like it is the nick of time. I challenged them with the lyrics of a song that came on a CD Lydia gave me for Christmas:

I have everything to lose by not getting up to fight
I might get used to giving up, So I am showing up tonight
I am my own enemy, the battle fought within my mind
if I can overcome step one I can face the 99.

Superchick, the band that wrote and performed the above song, is one of my favorites because they always sing songs that challenge you to think about how you are living. What’s important when we look at the song and the story of Eowyn is that we realize that they have a new perspective. That perspective is about fear. Eowyn’s perspective was so unnatural that the king was inclined to ask her, “What do you fear, anyway?” I’ve found that it’s necessary to ask myself about risks. What am I risking by taking an action, and, more importantly, what am I risking by not doing it? Perhaps, if I don’t say anything on the subject of something I care deeply about, my reputation will be different. By not telling my friends that I sincerely believe something, I risk them thinking that I’m one who is afraid of speaking out. That’s a risk I’m afraid of.

So when I take a fresh look at the perspective of all my actions, I have got to make sure I know that every thing I do has risks and things to be afraid of. The main thing is that I choose not to be afraid.

“For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.”   – Romans 8:15

  • http://www.kjllovemylife.blogspot.com Kristin

    Wow. You are well spoken, and obviously possess a wisdom beyond your years. Thank you for being willing to share your thoughts.

    ~kjl

  • Beth

    One of my favorite verses is “Blessed are all they that put their trust in Him” Psalms 2:12. I have it written on a note card that is hung in my kitchen. If I truly place my trust in the Lord then who/what am I to fear? Easier said then done! But something I strive to do on a daily basis!

    Thank you perspective on fear! As a young women you appear to be very wise and thoughtful!

    God Bless!
    Beth

  • http://www.creatingtreasures.blogspot.com tereza crump aka MyTreasuredCreations

    I think the battle of faith is the battle against fear. when we choose to believe we are choosing to face our fears and trust God. I love Psalm 27. Every day I fight fears, the unthinkable ones and the little ones. I pray and trust God and then peace overtakes me and replaces those ugly fearful thoughts that the enemy tries to plant in my mind every moment of the day. Praise the Lord for He is for us, who can be against us? I praise God for your life, Cynthia, and I pray you keep on growing in the knowledge of your Savior and Lord! :) Tereza

  • http://friztime.blogspot.com Tammy

    Cynthia… wow! You are an amazing young lady. I wish I had known you were going to be in SLC. We live in Ogden, Utah (about 30 minutes away). As you can imagine, if you have a large family around here, everyone assumes you are LDS. It would have been nice to meet with some folks who share our faith and believe that God has called us to have large families.