We didn’t see it coming.

It was early Saturday morning and I was headed to the beach with Wendy and Kellie. I pulled into the gas station to quickly fuel up before driving down the hill to where we would do our favorite Saturday routine of jogging two miles, followed by getting coffee, and then walking another mile. The beach provided an amazing backdrop for exercise, and more importantly, connecting with friends.

As the gas pumped, the conversation flowed easily. I was turned toward my passengers when Wendy’s eyes grew big and her mouth dropped opened. Her gaze was locked on something just over my left shoulder. She didn’t scream or yell, but I kid you not… my first thought was that someone was approaching the car with a knife. Now why I chose a knife— no idea! But… Wendy was definitely conveying a message of impending harm.

I slowly turned to catch the tail end— and by tail, I mean… TAIL…

—the tail end of a MOUSE running across the inside window of my door toward the dashboard. Our three car doors simultaneously FLEW open as we bolted out. Shrieks of laughter mingled with shrieks of I’m-sort-of-afraid-and-completely-grossed-out rose from our huddle. We spent the next 10 minutes replaying the event, analyzing the drive and wondering where the little rodent had been. Kellie was pretty sure she had seen it dash under her seat when she first got in the car, but had quickly talked herself out of the thought.

The gas was done pumping and we had a problem to solve.

Wendy, always the logical, ‘let’s make it happen’ friend, said, “Let’s just get in the car and ride with our feet up. We only have to go another half mile and hopefully the mouse will find its way out while we are parked at the beach.”

Setting our sights on our next destination…

we counted to three…

jumped in the car…

screamed a bit…

held our feet up…

laughed a lot…

and drove VERY fast to our next stop.

Minutes later, the gas station scene of doors flying open accompanied by nervous shrieks and laughter was repeated. We were out and safe for the next hour.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how to move past fear to get to the next destination in my life. I’ve come SO FAR in walking in faith instead of fear (you can read more about that here, here, and here) and I desperately want to keep going. THAT requires action in spite of fear. Just doing the next thing, possibly with some screaming, while holding my feet up. Hah!

I’ve taken on a couple things this fall that are scary to me. Good things… signed up for a conference for Christian speakers, teaching an elective class to 7thgraders, more accountability in the area of fitness… good things, but a bit scary too! I guess the biggest fear I’m battling this fall is a fear of failure.

It’s a crazy analogy to apply to a serious subject— fear of a little pesty mouse compared to fear of failure. But… I seriously am applying the same formula as I walk through this next season: just do the next thing and keep on going.

AND, look for the joy in the journey.

Matthew 28:8 “So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell the disciples.”  

We never saw the mouse, which made for an extremely long ride home!  Even to this day, if that story comes to mind as I start the car, I’m terrified all over again.

…afraid yet filled with joy.

May you be blessed as you step into this next season, possibly afraid yet filled with joy.