Bravery. It can look different every time. The word brings images of everything from a soldier jumping out of a plane, a little girl singing her first solo at church, or a man confessing his affair to his wife.
“He who is brave is free” said Seneca. To be brave is not to be without fear, but to allow that which is more important to break the chains
of fear. You may still fall flat on your face, but the point is that you are not bound by those chains.
I remember a similar sentiment mentioned in Disney’s Princess Diaries, based on Meg Cabot’s novel. How I resonated with the awkward, opinionated Mia. In a letter from her deceased father, he inspired her to take courage, not because her fears were not a reality, but because her courage was a better one.
We have all had a lot of fears, haven’t we? Thoughts of what people think of us, looking like a fool, being a “failure” wrap those chains of fear around us. Goodness, I have been scared of bringing a birthday cake to Eric’s work, because I didn’t know if they would like it and then think I was a bad baker. Ridiculous. I have been scared of taking dancing lessons, of submitting articles for publication, of opening up my heart to others.
It is always a question of importance. Is my fear more important then trying? Rarely. Have I looked silly in my dance classes? You better believe it. Ha! But I would have been even sillier not to try. Once you get past that fear of failure, you can truly be as ol’ Seneca said, free.
Jesus is all about us being free, being free in Him to go and do in His Name and with a passion always for Him. We can be brave, because we know that if we are seeking to honor Him, He’ll be right there. It’s the reason for the risk that matters. And that will keep us going, even when the thrill has worn off. Are we jumping for an adrenaline rush, or for a purpose? Yes, sometimes the mountain just needs to be climbed, but you had better have a fairly concrete reason why on day 278, when it is getting so difficult and monotonous.
The first step is about bravery. The next steps are always about discipline. So in this new year, let’s attempt to grow in both. It can be a beautiful thing.
Keep the Faith,
Image credit: google images/goodmenproject.com