"Who among us can say that he or she has not felt fear? I know of no one who has been entirely spared. Some, of course, experience fear to a greater degree than do others. Some are able to rise above it quickly, but others are trapped and pulled down by it and even driven to defeat. We suffer from the fear of ridicule, the fear of failure, the fear of loneliness, the fear of ignorance. Some fear the present, some the future. Some carry the burden of sin and would give almost anything to unshackle themselves from those burdens but fear to change their lives. Let us recognize that fear comes not of God, but rather that this gnawing,destructive element comes from the adversary of truth and righteousness. Fear is the antithesis of faith. It is corrosive in its effects, even deadly.This week has proved to be no more productive than last week as far as my Shakespeare project is concerned. Frustrating? You bet. Every other word to my friends the second I saw them on Saturday was either "Shakespeare," "independent study," "principal," "bureaucrats," "administration," "irresponsible," "stupid," or "ridiculous." I knew that my frustration had reached a dangerous level by the middle of the week, and I was fully aware that I was spewing poison by Friday. I requested a blessing from the first priesthood holder I could find, which didn't happen until Monday. But as always, the blessing I received was worth the wait.
'For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind' (2 Timothy 1:7).
We need not fear as long as we have in our lives the power that comes from righteously living by the truth which is from God our Eternal Father.
Nor need we fear as long as we have the power of faith." Gordon B. Hinckley
Patience, charity, the boldness to act (and not merely to be acted upon), and to find the answers I need in the scriptures; these are the highlights of the blessing that was given to me. In hindsight, and in light of the latest (lack of) development with the my high school administration, I see now why I need all of these specific gifts of the Spirit.
I chose the supervisors I did to avoid having to work with the head English teacher, with whom I have worked in the past. She is usually in charge of whatever play or musical our school performs, but having worked with her on a student production in my sophomore year, I wanted to avoid repeating the experience like a plague. But when I reminded my principal for the third time that he was supposed to pull me out of class to speak with me, he finally told me to "Go speak with Mrs. Morrison, and then I'll talk to her." I can see this meaning one of two things: he wants her to do the dirty work of telling me off by accusing me of creating a conflict of interest for whatever play she intends to perform (without buying the rights to, of course), or he envisions my project being something that could engage the student body culturally without requiring as much money as her interests, and wants her to consider what I have to offer. Considering he hasn't looked me in the eye once the entire time I've been trying to get his attention, I don't give him that much credit.
Could this be a turn of events that could benefit the project? Maybe. Who can say for sure? But I've dedicated almost a year of my time to bringing Shakespeare to Liberalville somehow. And now, I have more than natural stubbornness backing me up at this point. I've seen the power of priesthood blessings in the past. I have no problem believing that Liberalville might just get turned on its ear by something a little more powerful than my stubbornness. Maybe I just wasn't supposed to make the attempt on my own.
Regardless, I refuse to let the fear of rejection to keep me from trying to leave Liberalville, and my life here, in better condition than I found it. I won't just fade into the background like my principal seems to wish so desperately that I would. I've had plenty of practice holding on when the "popular," "safe," and "acceptable" thing to do has been to let go. (Honestly, does he have ANY idea who he's dealing with here?)
Thank God for iron fists and priesthood blessings. I have learned, and have a firm testimony of the fact, that I can turn to the latter when I need the former.