“Courage is not the absence of fear, but the belief that there is something more important than fear.”
This week at Tae Kwon Doe, Mr. Pearcy was sharing his “zip line” experience with us from his vacation in Tennessee. He was giving us the play by play action of being 100 feet in the air, zipping down a line that extended about 1000 feet. I was asking him specific questions about it, simply because Chloe announced that her Girl Scout troop is planning zip lining as one of their activities in the coming year. Now, my husband, the adventure enthusiast, cannot wait. I, on the other hand, just think about heights and become paralyzed. Now I have been rappelling a couple of times. Ridden in helicopters. Gazed out the windows of the Sears Tower. Yet, all I remember is the numb feeling in my arms and legs and I approached the ledge of the towering precipous. I am feeling a little tingly just thinking about it. But, when it comes down to it, I will be taking the zip lining plunge right along with my kids. I can’t let them know that I really am a wimp. They would never let me live it down.
Courage has been the theme of the month at my home church. It is all stemming from the movie Courageous that is debuting this weekend. As I think about the word courage, it brings to mind a favorite quote of mine, “Courage is fear that has said its prayers.” Last week, Jason gave a sermon regarding martyrs of past and present and challenged my thinking in regard to the stand that I am called to take for Christ. My ministry specifically involves bringing the word of God to children. The future of our church. Just as I pray for my own children, I pray that God will reap an amazing harvest through the life of each child that he allows our ministry to influence. I pray that God will do an amazing work through them. I teach them that God is good, all the time. That we should go to him for everything. When times are tough, he is right by our side. But, when I really think about the kind of life God calls me too, I think, “Kids ministry is easy. When he calls me in for the tough stuff, will I REALLY have the courage to show up?”
Like Peter, I tell God- call on ME, Lord. I will be there for you. I will be your witness. I will carry your cross. There will be a time when he takes me up on my offer. My biggest fear is that I will deny my Lord, not because I don’t love him, but merely because I am afraid. I am afraid of what that step will mean for my life. What the consequences of that decision will be.
The bible tells us that God has predestined us for his purpose. He has justified us and glorified us so that we are transformed into the image of his son. It occurs to me that the heroes of the bible and the today’s heroes of faith are and were completely sold out for God’s purpose. They knew in their heart that salvation was their own. That God had a spot specifically reserved for them in Heaven at the end of their service. If I am to be honest, my vision of God is just not quite that big yet. I see all of the good “things” he has placed in my life, but I have closet vision when it comes to what he has promised me for eternity. I am sorry to say that this condition probably causes me to miss opportunities to stand for Christ each and every day.
Today, I am making the commitment to be available to God, no matter what. I will lean on the power of his spirit to give me the strength I need to face the tough stuff. What if, as proclaimed followers of Christ, we all made the commitment to just be available. To say, “God, I’m here. Whatever you need. I’m right here. My life is not mine, but yours.” What if, as proclaimed believers of Christ, we made church a whole lot more than just showing up on Sunday morning. What if we got up EVERY morning and said, “God, I don’t know what you have for me today. I might be scared, but I’m gonna take the plunge anyway.”
“Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them, for the LORD your God is the one who goes with you. He will not fail you or forsake you.” Deu 31:6