I think courage is one of the first life lessons we learn. It isn’t a life lesson that comes alone though. Courage is usually accompanied by fear. They seem to travel together don’t they? Yes they are side by side but they are not allies. They couldn’t be any different. One of them will hold you captive and the other sets you free. The choice seems so simple. They are like night and day in the sense that they are right there together yet one cannot exist with the other. You either make love to fear or wed courage but you cannot be a bride to both. Some have tried but they are fools. Their pride will not allow them to admit they lie in bed with fear wearing a mask of courage. They walk the streets among us but I see them. They are not as hidden as they think they are. Winston Churchill said “Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak, courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.” You see courage is not beating our chest in the midst of fear and charging forward into the night. Courage is simply the act of acknowledging fear and walking past it. I have blogged about fear before so we have the clear understanding of what fear is.
The thing about fear is that it comes in all shapes and sizes but it is real and to the person it attacks it can be torment. For me personally I don’t allow fear to hold me captive but I do encounter it from time to time. It seems to come in the form of myself. I find myself fearing the integrity of my decisions. If there is one choice in front of me then clearly there is no doubt but life tends to give me choices. They are all dressed as what I pray for. They are all saying everything I have been dying to hear. They are all offering exactly what it is I need. There I am face to face and I have to choose which one is the real deal and dismiss the others. These choices could be as small as who to date or as big as what job to take. Ultimately I know even small decisions can grow into life altering commitments and I am scared to make the wrong decision.
Recently I was talking to my children about the choices we make in life. Our lives are a series of choices and each carry a consequence. There are good consequences and there are bad consequences and it all depends on the choices we make. We must always seek God’s will for our lives in order to make the right choices. I have lived my life making the wrong choices for various reasons and I have suffered the consequences of those choices. That is because I have made those decisions on my own without waiting for God’s answer. How do we hear God’s answer? We pray and we wait faithfully and he will open those doors for us. The answers will sometimes be as loud as a church bell and sometimes as quiet as a whisper. We must be still and quiet to hear it. When the answer is what God wants then we will feel a peace about it. We will not feel the sense of fear. We will courage. God will grace us with his courage. That courage stems from the roots of our faith. If our faith is weak then our roots will not hold against the wait of fear and we will fail.
Distressed with restless pain
I could not lift my head
Until God’s voice broke through
And this is what he said
Child if you knew my plan
And my high purpose in it
You’d fight the fight of faith
Undoubting you could win it
Then a bold resolve gripped me
To fight although discouraged
That is when God breathed upon me
A bit of his fresh courage.