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Aaron Johnson: Wonderful fear

This morning I am writing from a picnic table, sheltered by towering Ponderosa pines, from one of my favorite towns, Flagstaff, Ariz.
You might want to know that it is 46 degrees and the last day of June. That is why I love this place. It is about 7,000 feet above sea level. The day time temps reach the 100’s but the nights are always worthy of a jacket.
So far, we have traveled about 1,800 miles, through nine states and three time zones. We have spent my retirement on gasoline. We have camped in three states so far with about 6 to go.
On the first night we camped in a rest stop in Arkansas near the Oklahoma border. Alma was the closest town on the map.
The name for this type camping is called “boondocking.” That is a camp where there is no connection to water, sewer, or electricity. It is also free.
We pulled into a rest stop, connected the generator and went soundly to sleep.
Most people want a lot more than me when it comes to creature comforts. Almost everyone wants more when it comes to this fantasy called “safety.” As many of you read that last paragraph you gasped, wondering how anyone could or would sleep in a rest area on purpose.
First of all, I kinda like the adventure of it all. It connects me to my ancestors who braved the wilds of the American west in wagons, drawn by livestock. Their spirit somehow dwells in me, and if you are an American, then you have some of it, too.
We are not descended from cowardly men and women. Our ancestors braved unseen dangers to forge a new and better life. That life has now become the envy of the world.
I am one proud American. Traveling these states only reinforces this powerful spirit of belonging to something much bigger than ourselves.
We, who are many, are one.
In every gas station, every rest stop, every camp, and dive, I find people just like me. The accents are a little different, but inside we all share that same spirit of adventure.
This morning I met Jerry. Jerry works here at the campground and has an engaging spirit. I asked him if he enjoyed his work.
He smiled and said, “I must! I’ve been doing it 23 years, since I retired in 2000.”
Jerry travels from campground to campground as a host. He has a modest travel trailer and a winning smile. And most important, he loves his job and, in that job, he makes a difference.
Jerry has no plan for next year other than to keep working campgrounds, meeting new people and helping them enjoy their camping trip. I like Jerry. He was easy to talk to and shares a spirit of adventure.
Fear keeps many people from discovery.
Fear keeps people from finding adventure, new friendships, new opportunities, and most important purpose.
Fear has kept many promising entrepreneurs from taking the step to start their own business.
Fear has kept many good men and women out of politics in exchange for comfort.
Comfort has prevented people from all that makes life worth living.
Of the 10 things that cause us fear, only one of those ever materializes. Why waste emotional real estate on anything that doesn’t pay rent?
Zach Williams says it best in his song, “Fear is a Liar.”
Don’t let fear keep you from your future.
Aaron Johnson is a contributing writer for Yellowhammer News. He is pastor of Christ Redeemer Church in Guntersville.

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