What Is Your Deepest Fear?
In my opinion, one of the best basketball movies, without a doubt, would be Coach Carter. It is hands down one of my favorite movies, because it does not just focus on the sport of basketball. Based on a true story, this movie is about Ken Carter who coaches the Richmond High school basketball team.
Coach Carter was more concerned about the players’ academic success and their futures overall, than he was about basketball success. His goal was to motivate his players to achieve something far greater than being undefeated at basketball. Throughout the movie, Carter continually asked one of the team players Cruz a question that no one knew the meaning of: “What is your deepest fear?”
Cruz played for a while but then left to head back into gang life. Towards the end of the movie, he rejoined the team and was finally able to answer Carter’s question. He realized that his coach had saved his life. Coach Carter gave him a future beyond what Cruz saw in himself. I remember this part of the movie so vividly, and I felt God asking me the same question: “What is your deepest fear, Alex?” This question goes beyond such fears as fear of spiders, heights, the dark, or monsters in the closet. This question speaks to a much deeper fear: a fear that I didn’t even know I had.
Daniel Kolenda, well known teacher and preacher, once said, “I think one of the most tragic places you could ever visit is a cemetery, not because of the people who are buried there but because of what is buried within the people who are buried there: books and songs that were never written, sermons that were never preached, forgiveness that was never granted, inventions that were never developed—so much potential that was never realized”(Kolenda 2013, 136)*.
I’ll never forget reading this quote. Deep down there inside me, there can be potential for greatness that I may not even be aware of. I know the same can ring true for many of us today. We claim to be children of God, but we still live in fear, allowing our doubts to hold us back. The other day, overwhelmed by the question, I finally spit out my answer—eternal failure.
Many Christians talk about the joy they will have when they see Jesus. However, we will all give account, and I think many will also have regret when they see Him. Those earthly fears will seem so irrelevant in light of eternity. There are no excuses when it comes to giving account to what God has entrusted us with. As believers in Christ, we know that deep down it is not in our blood to live a comfortable life. That is not what God calls us to!
We cannot be held back by fear, because we know that His perfect love casts out all fear (1 John 4:18)! It is by this love that we are able and willing to serve God, as we seek to know Him and hear His voice. However, we don’t serve Him out of fear of failure: we serve Him because of His love for us. We are children of God! The only way to conquer our fears is to face them; there is no other way. We must have courage, and only the courage that Christ gives. We must know that we are free from sin and that “It is finished.” So wake up before it’s too late; live before you die!
Note: Alex Carney is a fourth year student completing his B.A. in Ministry. He is also the current athletics director here at Kingswood and loves to play basketball.
* Kolenda, Daniel. Live Before You Die: Wake up to God’s Will for Your Life. Charisma House Publishing, 2013.