Stan Rodda

February 16, 2007

I Wonder!

The year was 1789. I wonder if he was scared. I wonder if the sound of gun shots rang in his ears the night before. I wonder if the sound of cannons, men screaming and buildings crashing to the ground, haunted his thoughts. On the eve of the French Revolution, was he afraid? Afraid of what the future held for him? Afraid that he might not live up to his own standard? Would he be able to effectively be the man he needed to be? Surely as he laid in bed that night, the night before an amazing ten year war began, he was a little nervous, a little worried, a little scared.

With growing national imperialism and economic competition, and sure there had to be a faster way, I wonder if he couldn't sleep that night. The Catholic Monarchs had chosen to sponsor his journey, his adventure, his trip into the unknown. But their financial backing couldn't possibly subdue his doubts, his concerns, his fears. Surely they weren't enough. Did he look out his window that night, the night before he set sail, and see the waves from the ocean crash into the shore? Did he question his safety? Did he question the likelihood of his success? Did he question whether or not he was right and would actually be able to accomplish his goal? I imagine his stomach was in knots, his mind raced with images of the unknown and his heart skipped as he imagined the possibilities.

Men want to succeed. I don't know any man on the face of this earth who doesn't want to be great, who doesn't want to make something of himself, who doesn't want to become something more than he might already be. Men may be afraid to share their emotions and feelings with those around them, but trust me, they have them. Men are afraid of the unknown. Why? Because they carry the weight of needing, wanting, desiring to be a success. Not only for themselves, but also for those around them. They are nervous about the future. Their minds frantically search to play out any given situation so that when it arises they will be able to handle it. Handle it for themselves, handle it for their families or their friends around them. Men want to succeed.

I am no different. Fear of the future, fear of the unknown. I ask myself, "Will I succeed? Do I know what I'm doing? What if my calculations are off? How will this effect my family? How will this effect my church? How will this effect my God? I wonder. I lay awake and wonder, "Will I succeed?" I have little more than four days until the future becomes the present. Will I be a good father to a little girl? Will I be the Godly influence she needs as she grows? Will I be able to provide for her and give her what she needs? Will I be able to protect her and do what's right for her even when it hurts, even when it strains our relationship? Will I succeed?

No doubt Napoleon Bonaparte laid awake wondering about the French Revolution and the war to come. The death, the bloodshed, the decisions to make, the life in his hands. No doubt he wondered. No doubt Christopher Columbus laid awake the night before his journey, that would bring him to the Americas, and wondered about the sea, the weather, the route, the equipment, the supplies, the possibilities, all the details that likely flooded his mind. No doubt he wondered. They were men. And men want to succeed. And because they want to succeed, they wonder, and sometimes they fear. I am no different.