Saturday, August 19, 2006

Courage

You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do. (Eleanor Roosevelt)

I'm not courageous. Not that I'd ever considered myself such. I hadn't. I hadn't thought much at all about what the definition of that word really means. And day after day I see courage in people. In my family, friends, on TV shows with contrived plot points, on reality shows - it's all around me. And I realized today that I don't have it. I can be brave with God, but I'm sure of him. But He is the one constant, so that isn't really brave, is it? I've never had to be brave. I've always had a safety net - a family to support whatever decision I made, failure or success, and even more than that, to pick me up when I fall. So that begs the question: will I have the courage to step out when no one is there? I have no idea.

To dare is to lose one's footing momentarily. To not dare is to lose oneself. (Soren Kierkegaard)

What kind of person have I become without this courage? I honestly am not sure. Introspection is such an exhausting task, yet I don't feel as though I can identify what I want to change and try to fix it without this exhaustive process. As frustrating as it is, I do believe it's an important part of the
restoration.

He sent forth his word and healed them; he rescued them from the grave. Let them give thanks to the LORD for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for men. Let them sacrifice thank offerings and tell of his works with songs of joy. Others went out on the sea in ships; they were merchants on the mighty waters. They saw the works of the LORD, his wonderful deeds in the deep. For he spoke and stirred up a tempest that lifted high the waves. They mounted up to the heavens and went down to the depths; in their peril their courage melted away. They reeled and staggered like drunken men; they were at their wits' end. Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble, and he brought them out of their distress. He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed. (Psalm 107: 20-29)

This thing about courage is that is doesn't have to be this huge, life-altering effort you take a deep breath and jump into. Courage takes place in some everyday moments. If I sit down with my bible, there's courage in that. Courage to learn something I didn't previously know, courage that God may reveal something to me I don't want to hear. There is courage in following God's will for your life, especially when that will takes you into the unknown.


There is no real security in what is no longer meaningful.
(Alan Cohen)

To live life without the courage to change, move forward, to stretch yourself, is to live a life incompletely. There is little meaning in a life lived only on a plateau? Is there security in living life with courage? Yes. There is security in knowing that even if you failed, at least you tried.

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