Saturday, August 9, 2008

Paranoia

Fear.

That has been a common theme with me lately.

My book, LOL, is about overcoming fear.

My last post dealt with managing the expectations of others and yourself, but that we don't need to manage our expectations of God. When we do so, it is usually out of a “fear of failure”.

Today, at our MTCW group, we talked about networking and Kaye Dacus (you are awesome, girlfriend) talked about fear being a stumbling block in our networking potential.

Fear has crippled me in many ways over my life time. I have TONS of stories, but I will save them. I figure they are good to weave into books someday, LOL.

I am going to tell you about one recent story.

Please realize I am putting myself out here, because I KNOW I will sound stupid and you will probably think I am a complete idiot. I can live with that. LOL

Ok, so here is the story...

It was a dark and stormy night...

Just Kidding. Sorry.

*ahem* (the names in the story have been changed to protect the identities of those involved... and the story embellished to make it sound better then real life…)



The click-clack of typing was the lone sound in the one-story house.

Normally, the rooms were filled with the laughter and gaiety of children's voices, but not today. There was a peaceful silence that Greta coveted. As a mother to three small children, she relished this alone time and was determined to get some work done. Grandparents were a gift from God, especially when they wanted your kids to stay with them for a week.

As her fingers flew across the keyboard, she typed with an unending flow. Words poured from her soul and ended up in Times New Roman font on the Word document. Together, they created sentences, paragraphs, chapters, and collectively, a story straight from Greta's heart.

She loved her children, and loved spending time with them, but God had blessed her with this brief time of freedom. This over-worked Momma was determined to make the most of it.

She paused for a moment, her fingers lingering over the computer. What were her children doing right now? It was an hour later on the East coast, so they were in bed by this hour. One glance at the clock made her realize how much time had actually passed. It was almost ten o'clock!

As her fingers restarted their rhythmic pace, Greta heard a low noise. She stopped typing to listen.

"Lucy?"

She hoped the sound was just the dog, who was roaming the house aimlessly, probably searching for her usual playmates, Greta's children.

Dismissing it, she reread her last sentence, but then heard the low growl again. It was Lucy. And she was scared.

"Lucy, come girl!"

The low gurgling growl came louder, almost a snarl. Was someone in the house? What was wrong?

"Lucy, come here now!" Greta commanded. The growl turned into a loud obnoxious howl.

Blood cursed through Greta's veins at a threatening pace. Without thought, she ran towards the barking, which she now determined came from the master bedroom. Lucy was running towards her now, barking loud enough to wake the dead.

Greta only hoped she wasn't about to become one of those dead. Should she run? Should she call the police? Should she confront the intruder?

Logic told her the answers were yes, yes and no. Her stubborn pride that refused to allow her to overreact caused her to do latter.

Peering into the bedroom she shared with Pete, she saw no sign of intrusion. A moment later, a wiff of something caught her noise.

Smoke!

Was something burning? Her eyes searched the room, but saw no sign of fire. Still the smell remained, and Lucy continued to bark.

The room started to blur, and Greta feared she might pass out, which would hinder any chances she had of an escape.

The following moments seemed to pass by in slow motion as she ran to the living room, picked up the cordless phone along with her most valuable possession, and ran out the front door.

As she stood bare-foot in the dew-soaked grass, knees shaking, she dialed her husband's cell phone. Voicemail picked up immediately.

She then dialed her sister’s number.

Her brother-in-law answered.

"I need to talk to Lynn now!" Greta demanded.

She heard some yelling, and moments later Lynn answered. "Greta, what's wrong?"

"The house... dog growled... home alone… smelled smoke... can't find fire... Pete not home...Help!"

"Greta, slow down, sweetie. The house is on fire?"

Greta knew she must sound crazy, but she couldn't conjure up enough brain power to talk intelligently. As she began to reply, the blessed headlights appeared in the driveway.

Pete was home!

"Gotta go, never mind, Pete's home. I'll call you." Greta hung up.

Pete walked up the sidewalk wearing a curious look. Greta knew she must look crazy. She was standing outside in her pajama's with Lucy, her open laptop, and the cordless phone. The front door was wide open.

Greta thrust the dog into Pete's arm.
"What in the world...?"

After Greta's hasty explanation, Pete rushed in to the house.

Nothing. That is what he found.

On one hand, Greta was thankful. Her house didn't burn down. She didn't have to call the fire department. No one was waiting inside with an ax to kill them both.

But on the other hand, she was irritated. What had she smelled? What had Lucy gone crazy barking over?

It was a mystery that would remain unsolved forever.

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