Phlebotomic is a blog experiment that seeks to gather multiple perspectives around a common prompt, which is provided weekly.

Last week's prompt was "Beauty"...

This week's prompt is "Path"...

03 February 2009

My Greatest Fear - Heights and "A Wasted Life"

My initial reaction to greatest fear has been, is, and probably always will be heights. I am that whimpering, nervous, white knuckled person on planes. I cannot stand the thought of peering out over an abyss or chasm. I come by this fear honestly, as my grandfather would lean (in the car) away from drop-offs on mountain roads even if we were hundreds of feet away from the edge, and also even if he was driving (I still laugh thinking about that)!! He would avoid bridges if possible, and when he was at the Grand Canyon, he stayed a good 100 yards from the edge! I have always said that I know what it feels like when I fall from my height (6'7") so I don't want to know from any higher.

After the calming effect of a period of contemplation and introspection, I identified my true greatest fear, and it needs some explanation. My sister is an attorney, and of course, spends quite a bit of time in front of judges. She related a story about a judge's rant she observed while waiting for her trial to begin. The judge was sentencing a habitual and chronic drunk driver on his third (I think) offense, who had killed someone and injured others. It had been revealed that this man drank himself into oblivion almost constantly. Due to his addiction, he had lost his family because they could not subject themselves to seeing him slowly kill himself and to endure any more of the constant emotional and mental abuse. He lost his job, his house, his friends, basically everything because of the demon in a bottle. He stood before the judge, a broken, empty shell of the man he once was. Before he was bitten by the bottle, he had everything, a loving family with children and a pretty wife, a well paying and prestigious job, good friends, a bright future, all brought down because of his inner desire's insatiability. The judge, angry and I am sure perplexed at the state of this man, looked down at him and stated,"You, sir, are guilty of many things. You are guilty of hurting, maiming, and finally, even killing. You are guilty of breaking the law, and, for this, you will be punished. Most of all, you are guilty of a wasted life." And then, he was sentenced to the maximum allowed by the laws of that state. There it is, my greatest fear, to be guilty of a wasted life.

That story always stirred the deep set fears within me. It hit home because I am the child of an alcoholic, and I have seen those demons and their power, so that element is very frightening. However, the idea of wasting my life frightens me to the core of my being. God has given us this gift of life. A chance to live, to love, to make friends, and to experience Him and spread His Eternal Kingdom in this temporal realm. He has blessed us immensely, and desires to know us, and to allow us to have life even more abundantly than we can fathom. He wants to use our lives, and to empower us to use them for His glory, to use them to the fullest. Yet, many decide to waste it, chasing after booze, drugs, money, status, material things, and the myriad of other false trappings of this world. I think this story hits me because when we stand before our Creator, there are really only two options and two responses - "Well done, my good and faithful servant!! Come and share your Master's happiness!" - that is, you have live a full life. The other - "You wicked, lazy servant. Away from me!!" - in other words, the Just Judge has sentenced, "You, sir, are guilty of a wasted life." Can we stand before Him and know fully that we have used our lives to the fullest for His Kingdom? Will we present ourselves confidently, knowing that He was with us, and we were willing and able to be used? Or will be stand as broken empty shells of the people that we could have been? I pray that I am willing. I pray that we are willing. I pray that we all can hear "come and share" rather than "away from me." I desire that all lead full lives, abiding in the Most High. I pray that no one will be guilty of a wasted life.


  1. I am guilty of a wasted life. I am a 45 year old loser. I hate my life and I wish I had never been born.

  2. So are you ready to make the next 45 years worth living and having lived?