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  • Writer's pictureHeather Simmons

To Face Unafraid

Let me be totally honest: I've had Christmas music on since Black Friday. "Dean Martin Holiday", "Mariah Carey Home for Christmas", and "The Holiday Station" have been shuffled on Pandora for eight days now and I'm not mad about it. I LOVE CHRISTMAS MUSIC. Give me all the hymns. Give me Bing. Give me N'SYNC. There's no version/remake/remix I won't enjoy, unless it's by Josh Groban. That man's voice makes me choke on my Christmas spirit. But I digress.

Christmas Carols are my favorite, because they bring back sweet memories from childhood. Our church youth group would actually go door-to-door and carol, so I know most of them by heart. They're so ingrained in my memory that I usually sing them without thinking about the next line. I was listening to Bing Crosby croon "Winter Wonderland" this morning though, and a verse stopped me in my tracks:

Later on

we'll conspire

as we dream by the fire

to face unafraid

the plans that we've made

walking in a winter wonderland

I became envious of these two lovers. They face the future with no fear. They just snuggle up to a hearth, dream up their dreams, and live in confidence that their dreams will pan out. And then they take a walk. It's that simple. There aren't any pro/con lists, debates, or beta testing. There aren't any sleepless nights spent pondering which action to take, or advice sought from well-meaning friends. They just plot and scheme by a fire. They are unafraid. And I want to be them.

Not exactly sleigh bells, but ornaments are to the eyes what bells are to the ears.

Now before I develop this carol as a metaphor for our own lives more fully, let me point out a few things. Of course they could face the future without fear. Their agendas consisted of building snowmen, joking about being married by a parson, and walking around in snow. Talk about Easy Street. The only legitimate fear here is hypothermia. But I think there's a great deal to learn from this pair, especially since the lyrics were written in 1934 by a man staring out his window at passerby in the snow while he sat in the hospital dying from tuberculosis. Richard Smith was suffering from a terrible illness, and I imagine he was imagining what it was like to not be saddled with the hardship of sickness. I imagine he wanted desperately to go back to a time before TB and live without fear, having now learned that mortgages and deadlines and goal setting are cakewalks compared to critical illness.

So this is my point (not Mr. Smith's; I'm just putting myself in his shoes): if these two kids can live life like this, then why can't we face our plans unafraid? Why are our plans scary to begin with? Why can't we plot and scheme and conspire with confidence that our dreams are GOOD? This duo makes a plan and then frolic in the park. So let's make a plan. Let's make a bold, daring, and big plan while we're drunk on the warmth of the fire, and let our passion for the plan keep us warm in the cold. Let's not confuse daring with scary, or big with overwhelming. Let's not let fear replace our confidence. Because really, at then end of the day, we're winning if we're still in the snow. Let's keep that magic while we're still on this side of the window.

Author's Note: To show you I mean business, I wanted to let you know that I've already made my husband promise that we'll build a fire on the next chilly night we have and sit by it and talk about our future. So whenever it gets cold here again (I'm thinking February?) brace yourselves for another round of 'facing unafraid' propaganda. Also, I can't sing this part of the song without thinking of the Proverbs 31 woman and how "she laughs without fear of the future". I've now successfully tied scripture to pop music. You're welcome.

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