randomlychad  —  March 28, 2012 — 12 Comments


In my blogging life, I’ve been honest, sincere, snarky, forthright, sappy, and stupid–sometimes all at once. I’ve even been a douche a time, or two (or three, or four).

But if I get right down to it, employ some of that random transparency that’s cropped up from time-to-time, a lot of what I’ve done has been motivated by simple fear:

Fear of not being accepted

Fear of being left out

Fear of being outside

The picture above comes from a book called The Quotable Lewis, a collection of CS Lewis’s writings arranged by topic. In 1944, he delivered a sermon (called “The Inner Ring”) to college students that was later collected in his book The Weight of Glory.

It is that last line that kills me:

“Until you conquer the fear of being an outsider, an outsider you will remain.”

Nearly a quarter century have I walked with Jesus, and still that fear remains. And a hypocrite, too:

I tell my thirteen year-old son “Cool is not a virtue, not something to be sought,” and yet I want to fit in with those I perceive to be the “cool kids” in the blogosphere. Is it any wonder that he struggles to find his niche (just like his dad does)?

It was upon reading the Lewis passage above this morning that it dawned on me why I’ve been so unsuccessful (where I perceive others as more successful) in making the much-vaunted networking connections:

My fear, and the things it has motivated me to do. I don’t know how to get past it….

Because instead of making connections, I’ve tried to penetrate the inner ring–and found it empty.

Because my basis was fear, I sought to get inside for the sake of being inside.

As Lewis so adroitly states: there is value, no fellowship, no friendship in that.

I’m laying bear my heart here, folks. What do you think?

The fact of the matter is: you–the world–don’t need me to be “cool,” you want me to be me. Because the truth is: folks online are looking for the same thing they are in real life: honesty.

I’m sorry I’ve let you down in that regard. I hope you can forgive me.

Have you ever let fear lead you to places you shouldn’t go?




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Christ-follower, husband, dad, blogger, reader, writer, movie buff, introvert, desert-dweller, omnivore, gym rat. May, or may not, have a burgeoning collection of Darth Vader t-shirts. Can usually be found drinking protein shakes, playing with daughter, working out with his son, or hanging out with his wife. Makes a living playing with computers.

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  • Cool is not a virtue would make a great t-shirt. Thanks for this other Chad

    • You’re welcome, other/younger Chad!

      Get on it!

      I want a mockup by Monday.


  • Stephen Taylor

    I always find your writing to be authentic. What are you apologizing to us for? It’s yourself you should apologize to. 🙂

    • Thank-you, Stephen!

      Ok, here goes:

      Me: I’m sorry.

      Me: I forgive you.


  • Dan McM

    Yeah, I can completely relate. Many (if not all) of my decisions have been influenced by fear in the past. I’m better than I used to be, but it still creeps in altogether too often.

    By the way, are you writing for Alise’s “Not Afraid” project? If not, you probably should be.

    I agree with Stephen, by the way. You’re always open and honest here… you have nothing to apologize for. In fact, I don’t think apologizing to yourself is necessary either — unless you’re apologizing for beating yourself up over your perceived shortcomings.

    • Perception is, like Gollum, a tricksy thing, isn’t it?

      I appreciate your kind words. Have just been feeling the weight of my inadequacies a bit more of late.

      I had thought about, and subsequently forgotten, doing that (submitting an entry to Not Afraid), Dan.

  • Dude, I was talking to someone on the phone about this today! What a coincidence…oh, wait…that was you…

    • Hah!

      I don’t believe in coincidences.

  • I’ve definitely dealt with worry, fear, stress, and anxiety. These are real things that most of us probably struggle with. But there’s a ROCK to lean on when times get tough. I know that ROCK!

    • Amen, Jon--amen!

      I know Him, too.

  • I have several posts on fear. It is a gateway drug to stupidity, I’ve found. I understand the inner ring concept you’re talking about. I don’t fit but I never did. I started writing to get all that crap out of my head. I am doing that, if I manage to corral a few friends at the same time that’s even better. At times I have that outsider feel because we just don’t live in the same pop culture loop anymore. It’s been a good trade though. Thanks for sharing Chad.

    • Ken,

      What a great comment! So much wisdom!

      It really is a gateway to stupidity, isn’t?

      I’m thinking long & hard about simplifying things.

      Thank-you for reading!