Looking at and watching the two of them, it’s not very hard to see that their personalities are as different from each other as their appearances. Different as night and day. Two kittens who came from two of three litters from a barn in South Dakota. They came to live with us when they were 7 and 8 weeks old. A blonde tabby who we named “Nugget” who is quite comical and doesn’t know a stranger. And then there’s Dakota, a gray tabby who we were told was very skittish when we acquired him. “Sweet but skittish” was how he was described to me. He had an identical twin brother who apparently was even more skittish than he was. Makes you wonder what happened in their young little lives to make them so fearful.
Nugget and Dakota are about 9 and 10 months old now. They get along great and are inseparable. Partners in crime who can unroll an entire roll of toilet paper in the blink of an eye! Seriously, is there a Guinness World Record for that? Nugget doesn’t know a stranger and has no fears. He is not shy in the least and can be quite impulsive at times. This is troubling to me sometimes because it’s fear that alerts cats to trouble. Fear can be normal and “healthy” in this respect. Granted Nugget is strictly an indoor cat (they both are). And I’m convinced he could never be an outdoor cat because of his “No Fear” attitude. He’ll go totally limp in your arms when you pick him up. Dakota on the other hand, is a “scaredy cat” and is scared of his own shadow. Literally. He doesn’t like to be held at all although he will crawl in our laps (it must be on his terms) and lick us silly while purring so loud, he can cause a recliner chair to vibrate. It pains me to see how scared he is of strangers and, well, EVERYTHING. He once hurt himself while he and Nugget were playing in a big paper shopping bag (the kind with the twisted handles). Something spooked him and he about killed himself to get out of that bag. He tore one of the handles off while literally exploding out of the bag all wide-eyed and terrified, and sprained his leg in the process. I shook my head the day that happened and found myself wishing there was something I could do to make him see he’s only letting his fears hurt him more. And then it dawned on me. In many ways, I’m just like Dakota. Sometimes I let my fear harm me. Sometimes I let it cripple and paralyze me.
So I’m working on standing up to my fears. Because fear attacks us all sometimes. It fogs our thinking and causes irrational behavior and I’m convinced it can lead us straight away from the will of God. This year I’m trying to learn to stand up to my fear and not let it get the best of me or control my life. I guess you can say I’m fighting fear with faith and realize I can only do this with God’s help. There’s no other way. So I’ll meet fear head-on– with the Word of God.
The Lord is my light and my salvation;
whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life;
of whom shall I be afraid? ~Psalm 27:1
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. ~2 Timothy 1:7
God is our refuge and strength,
A very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear,
Even though the earth be removed,
And though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea~ Psalm 46:1-2
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. ~Psalm 23:4
The LORD is with me; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me? ~Psalm 118:6
Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. ~Deuteronomy 31:6
How about you? What are your biggest fears? Are you letting fear get the best of you?