Real Fear

I’m fearful for the future. It is time that we start living in fear. Maybe not fear that forces you to avoid flying or long bus rides, but fear that makes you look back over your shoulder in broad daylight.

Now, you may think this is yet another blog post about ISIS, but I’m not here to write about ISIS. Yes, ISIS is something that we should be concerned about, but I have bigger worries.

I’m scared for the next generation and the kind of world they’ll live in. They won’t be fearing terrorist groups from different parts of the world. They’ll be fearing their neighbors, their classmates, their co-workers, their family members. Our biggest threats to this country are already here, living a seemingly normal American life inside our borders. It is frightening and it’s something we’d like to ignore, but you simply can’t ignore the truth.

Governors of several states are desperately trying to refuse Syrian refugees because they think they will pose as a “bigger threat” to this country. Isn’t it a little naïve to think that there aren’t already American-born ISIS members living in this country?

Just today, there was a shooting near Planned Parenthood in Colorado Springs. The police are searching for the shooter right now, so there isn’t too much information as to if the shooter was targeting Planned Parenthood or what their motive was. This shooter seems to be shooting anyone who stands in their way, including police officers and innocent citizens.

What scares me the most about these situations here in America is that we will hear about them for a day or two and then everyone will suddenly brush it off. News channels and stations cover these shootings for a few days and when all is said and done, everyone forgets about it until the next deathly tragedy. When the Columbine shooting happened in 1999, it is all news channels covered for months and people were genuinely concerned. Now, when a school shooting or tragedy happens, it is on the news for a couple of days and then it’s over. There are so many people who are completely oblivious to the fact that the tragedy even happened because they get wrapped up in their own little worlds to not even notice the warning signs.

No one expects a school shooting to occur or bomb to go off in a public facility, but these things do happen and it’s time we pay more attention. Expect the unexpected.

So, my point is: yes, we should pray for those in Paris and Beirut and the Middle East. But, we should also pray for those living within our walls and pray that they don’t resort to violence. There’s no ignoring the fact that violence is growing and there’s no telling when it will end.

 

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SENIOR CROSSES OBSTACLES TO PLACE THIRD IN RACING WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS

Senior Conor McNulty has climbed over 12-foot walls, trudged through muddy water, and jumped over four-foot hurdles to become a world champion.

McNulty began competing in obstacle course races in June of 2015 and said each obstacle course varies depending on location and terrain.

“They can be hills, they can be trails, and there are a lot of water-crossings,” McNulty said. “There is a lot of forearm strength, like monkey bars, pull-ups, pipes, rings, all that fun stuff. They just vary from place to place.”

McNulty has been first in his age group at the three races he has competed in so far.

McNulty said one of his biggest accomplishments is that he placed third at the Obstacle Course Racing World Championships (OCRWC).

McNulty qualified for the championships by placing first in his age group and seventh overall at a Savage race. The OCRWC was at Kings Domain in Oregonia, Ohio on October 17 and featured teams from several different countries, including Sweden, France, and Norway.

“It was very cold that day, there was frost on all the obstacles,” McNulty said. “A lot of it was very forearm related, it was a lot of grip obstacles. There was a lot of running, there was a lot of crawling, a lot of mud and fun stuff like that.”

Kevin Jones, a mentor for McNulty, first introduced McNulty to obstacle course racing and said he had to work, both mentally and physically, for the World Championships.

“The World Championships was 9.5 miles, a bunch of obstacles, and it was very cold,” Jones said. “When you’re swimming through water, running through the woods in freezing weather and you’re wet and cold, you’re pushing yourself through that.”

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Photos by Meghan Pottle

These obstacle courses have helped McNulty prepare for the Marines, which he plans to join.

“Obviously, there’s the physical aspect, which always helps you in anything that you do, you need to be physically fit to do it,” McNulty said. “A lot of combat scenarios are running, jumping, crawling under wire, jumping over a wall, running to cover, ducking, stuff like that. You doing what you can to survive.”

Jones said he believes McNulty will be ready for the Marines because of the conditions he has raced in at obstacle courses.

“He is going to be so physically ready for the Marines because of the training and the races, so he’ll get through his basics just fine,” Jones said. “The mental training is thinking that when all you want to do is quit, you just have to keep pushing through to get to the finish line.”

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What’s my purpose?

Lately, I have lost motivation to blog or write at all. Frankly, I have lost motivation to do anything productive. I procrastinate. And I hate it.

Every night, I go to bed early because I think that I have “nothing better to do” and it’s disappointing. Where did all this laziness come from? The stress and rigor of high school? Well, I don’t feel stressed. Not enough time? I have all the time in the world. What’s the point? That’s it; lack of purpose.

What’s the purpose of doing homework? What’s the purpose of learning things in school that I will probably never use again? What’s the purpose of working out and staying fit? What’s my purpose?

This is something I have been struggling with for a while and I bet I’m not the only one. I believe that we’re all here for a purpose; it’s just figuring out what that purpose is. Since I haven’t been able to see the point or purpose of doing anything lately, I decided that needed to change. Where did I first turn to? The Bible.

I don’t openly blog about or share my religion and my faith with others frequently because I feel like people could care less. Only a select few will notice if I tweet a Bible verse. Only a select few will notice this blog post and the purpose of it.

It’s taken me a lot of time to be able to comfortably discuss my beliefs and faith with others because I fear that I will be judged and mistaken. Then, I came across Galatians 1:10, which says, “For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.” Why am I so intent on pleasing others when I have God, my rock, who has made me perfectly and loves me unconditionally?

As I was running on the treadmill at the gym today, I thought to myself, “why am I doing this?” The answer came to my mind immediately; for Christ. I am doing everything for Christ. I am doing everything according to His purpose. If we don’t have something to believe in, what are we living for? God made me fearfully and wonderfully, so the only thing I have to fear is fear itself. God made me purposefully, so that I could be an inspiration to those around me.

How could I have ever thought that I was made without purpose? God’s ways are perfect. Before, I was looking for a purpose that would make me “popular” or “envied.” Sure, being well-liked and well-known would make me happy for a short amount of time, but Jesus is the only one who can ultimately fulfill me. And He will never leave me. I can’t think of a better purpose than His.

“Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.” Proverbs 19:21

We’re all on different parts of our faith journey right now. If you feel lost and without guidance, I urge you to reach out to someone who can help you along and lead you towards Christ. You have purpose.