Let me share a story about a man who could not sleep throughout the night for many years because of a recurring fear. During the daytime, while at work or doing activities, things were relatively normal for him. He went about the day’s business without any significant concerns or distractions; he even took naps during the day on the weekend.
At night, however, he was unable to fall asleep.
You see, each night after preparing for bed, this otherwise confident and seemingly brave man would feel and see monsters under his bed. No matter how hard he tried to block them out of his mind, he kept his eyes wide open in terror. He was too embarrassed to tell anyone about his problem, except for his good friend, who would often drive him around.
One day this exhausted gentleman decided to visit a pastor, a psychologist and a sleep apnea specialist, and they each promised to fix his problem—for a fee. So, one day, after dropping the sleepless man off at work, his good friend—who happened to be a carpenter—went to his friend’s home and cut the legs off his bed so that there was no space between the bed frame and the floor—leaving no place for monsters to hide.
After returning home from work, the sleepless man noticed that his bed had lost its legs. This was strange, and he called his carpenter friend, who calmly told him, “Yes, I cut the legs from your bed so the monsters can no longer bother you at night.”
After a quick laugh, the very tired man said, “okay,” and prepared for bed. And just like that, the monsters were gone, and he had a great night’s sleep.
A week or so later, the pastor, psychologist and sleep apnea specialist followed up. He let them know that his friend has fixed his problem. Though none of them believed the solution was permanent, he slept well for many years to come anyway.
We all have fears, anxieties and trepidation (monsters) that scare us and keep us from realizing our true potential and calling. Life has a way of convincing us to delay or even give up on our dreams because of all the monsters that come our way. So, we lay awake at night feeling unfulfilled and non-purposeful.
More often than not, the solution is simple, but we make it harder than it has to be out of fear. It’s not always about seeking an expert opinion or evaluation; it can be as simple as cutting off the bed’s legs.
Answer the call, stand up to your fears and do what you know is in your heart, whether people believe in you or not. This is your time, your season, your moment and your turn; ready, set, go!
Kirk Ray Smith is the president and CEO of Hope Villages of America, formerly RCS Pinellas.
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