My daughters just finished a summer session of ice skating lessons. Watching them on the rink reminded me of the last time I laced up a pair of skates. We were at a school sponsored event where parents were invited to participate. Having just fallen off a ladder (and torn a ligament in my knee) the year before, I was nervous about joining Katie and Hollie on the ice. Not wanting to disappoint them, my plan was to take a few cautious laps around the rink before sitting down in the stands to watch.
Thirty seconds and one near-fall later, I was reminded of the scene from The Princess Diaries where Mia Thermopolis struggled to decide whether to accept or reject her title as heir to the Genovian throne. In the end, the words that made her face her fears are the same ones that convinced me to honor mine.
“Courage is not the absence of fear,” Mia read in a letter from her father, “but the judgment that something is more important.”
Is this more important than my health? I asked myself as I steered clear of an approaching skater.
The answer came when I looked at my daughters and realized that they were doing just fine without me. With their approval, I inched my way off the ice and turned in my skates.
A few minutes later I knew I had made the right decision when I walked by a man who was holding a bloody towel and a bag of ice to the back of his head.
“Did he just fall on the ice?” a woman in front of me asked the employee who was kneeling in front of the injured man.
Nodding in agreement, the employee said: “He’s waiting for a neighbor to take him to the hospital for stitches.”
Her words affirmed my conclusion that some fears are not meant to be conquered, but carefully considered. And those who do will spare themselves a considerable amount of pain.
“Make level paths for your feet and take only ways that are firm.” – Proverbs 4:26