Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Fear of Deer

If you know me very well at all, you know I suffer from an unnatural and untraceable fear of deer.  If you've questioned me about this fear, I'm sure I've explained to you the following:

Horses - I am very comfortable around horses.  I understand that I am in control of these animals, I am not afraid of horses and I know what to do in order to remain safe around one or more horses.  I am in control of the horse.

Moose - Moose are totally in control of their situations and my interactions with them.  I've heard the theory that moose run the world, and I'd be inclined to believe it.  If a moose crosses your path, you are going NOWHERE until that moose decides to meander on his way.  I yield to the moose.

Deer - I have no idea what to do when I'm confronted with a deer.  The deer is afraid of me, I am afraid of the deer.  The deer doesn't know what I'm going to do, I don't know what
the deer is going to do.  The deer is SO STUPID that he startles, twitches, gets a "deer in the 
headlights" look and then runs.  When the deer runs, he is so afraid, is movement is unpredictable.  Deer will run toward what scares him, away from what scares him, smack dap into what scares him... let's roll a die to determine what this unpredictable, unintelligent animal is going to do.  The frustrating thing is that I do not know how to respond to a frightened deer.  I don't know if he's in control, and he doesn't know if I'm in control... the result is myself, a twenty-five year old young woman who is terrified of deer.

I have feared car-deer accidents since before I had a driver's license.  I used to remind my debate and tennis coaches when the opening weekends of hunting seasons were, so they would remember that the deer were on the move and they'd be on the look-out as we drove across the state to various tournaments.

People who have driven with me can attest that I gasp and break and swerve and slow down when I see a live deer along the road.  I have a talent for spotting their eyes in the dark -- probably because I'm always looking for them.

A few years ago there was a GEICO commercial where a man is out running on foot and he
 runs into a deer and he and the deer get all tangled with each other.  Their add was "You need us in case this happens with a car."  I used to comment to friends that this commercial was like someone had written down one of my fears, taped it, and aired it on tv in 30 second nightmares.

Well, I have now been involved in a car-deer accident.  Actually, one might call it a deer-car accident because the deer ran into me.  My aunt says I was in a "hit-and-run" accident -- the deer hit me and ran away.  This accident happened a little over two weeks ago.  The insurance agency totaled my car and the whole ordeal has been a frustrating, overwhelming mess to put it mildly.

Amidst the drama, I am trying to tell myself that I no longer need to fear deer.

I watched the deer along the road for YEARS with fear and trembling that they would run into me.  I never saw the one that hit me.

How true is this for many worries in my life?

I spend days, months, years worrying about things, losing sleep over issues that never materialize in my life.  The large challenges in my life usually blind-side me without warning, without the chance to avoid them, without an opportunity to swerve, and certainly no time to gasp.

I do not need to fear the deer standing along the road because I SEE THOSE DEER.  I see them grazing next to the highway - they are not running at my car.  I do not need to fear problems I foresee down the road in my life, because they are DOWN THE ROAD.  They are not blind-siding me at the moment.

The deer that is going to hit my car will be unavoidable.  No amount of fear or preparation can help me avoid that collision.  The challenges that will hit my life will be unavoidable.  No amount of fear or worry can help me avoid that challenge.

Only a strong faith and a steady dose of God's Word and Truth can prepare me for daily life - and on-coming deer.

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