“I don’t fear dogs, I only avoid them because of the value I place on my life” – Olatunji Rockdweller
Few days ago, I found myself walking on a footpath in-between two tall fences of castle-like mansions. I walked with my two ears blocked with my ever-loyal earpieces. As I walked half-way between these tall and fortified fences, suddenly, I began to feel my body impregnated with goose bumps, I literally felt some hairs growing on my nape. I perceived danger. Fearfully yet carefully I upraised my big head as my left earpiece unplugged effortlessly. I paused to observe the imperiling environment. Guess what I saw! A tiger-like, panting and salivating black Rottweiler punctuated by some brown spots, sitting on its hind legs with the forelegs planted on the ground; it was obviously scowling at me. I paused for few seconds as I heard multiple voices overlapping in my over-stressed head “You are actually going to be attacked by this beast,” “turn back and zoom off” on and on and on. After plethora of terrifying options, I swiftly learnt from past experience, I knew fleeing in such situation would only expose my timidity and deepen my vulnerability. In split of seconds, I remembered how I was attacked by a similar Rottweiler when I was barely seven and how Bingo (local dog) had a rare opportunity to feel the taste of my fresh blood like 7 years later (during my teenage). When these two occurrences bullied my lonely soul, I determined to be ‘stupid’ enough to take the risk like a man for once. This time around, I was ready to shift any mountain just to make sure ‘affliction doesn’t arise the third time’. I told myself, “I must do something differently – facing my fears instead of taking a flight”.
My cynophobia is first grade, I don’t visit homes where dog is reared, regardless of the species or breeds, chained or unchained. I don’t just wanna know!
Ordinarily, I don’t think about what to do when I see dogs; I just fly instinctively. Miraculously, I was a different man this fateful day. I decided to swim against the tide, I made up my mind to wrestle my fears and face the ranting giant; to walk (maybe saunter fits it better) towards the dog. I kept imagining another ‘Daniel in the Lion’s Den’ miracle. I walked slowly yet closer to this panting dog; my heart was racing as terrifying thoughts overwhelmed my over-tasked brain and convulsion had the best of me. Things got worse as my phone began to ring – Oh how I hated the caller, I almost cursed her in my heart (she turned out to be my mum). My heart began to slam violently against my chest, I was totally discomfited. Suddenly, the panting dog jacked up and violently dashed towards me. “J-E-S-U-S!” I screamed with the whole of my being. My eyes wide opened. It was only a dream – a facical nightmare.
In reality, we do sometimes have what we fear. For some, it’s height, for others it’s water, for me it’s dog you can only speak for yourself. We are permitted to feel the fear but we just have to do what we have to do anyway. Proverbs 22:13 “The slothful man saith, there is a lion without, I shall be slain in the streets.” This scripture reveal to me that, it’s only a slothful man that allows fear to hinder his progress in life. Never let your fear keep you from going forward!
My encounter with few scriptures actually helped me handle my phobia better and I will not mind sharing a few of them:
1. Psalm 23:4 “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the SHADOW of death, I shall fear no evil…..” Death and devil can’t survive a God-carrier. In most cases fear is not as real as we perceive it, it’s a mere distractions – a harmless shadow. Devil will always try to torment us with unreal stuff and most times we fall for his tricks and empower shadows via our word and confessions.
2. 1 Peter 5:8 (KJV) “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, LIKE a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he MAY devour”. The devil is not a roaring lion but we(believers) are! Furthermore, he can’t devour everybody…. He knows his boundaries and restrictions, we are outside his zone; so devouring is beyond is aspiration.
3. “Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.”1John 4:4. You are God’s property and HE installed the same software that makes him God inside of you.
Whenever you are faced with ‘terrifying’ situation, please watch your mouth! God has given you enough power to empower anything(even a shadow) . If you call the shadow a monster, so shall it be and it can devour you (because you grant it the permission).
Gracias Muchas Hermano