“Without courage, all other virtues lose their meaning.”
— Winston Churchill, British prime minister
God morning …If I’m lying, I’m dying! This is the 2nd Sunday in a row that I went to type Good and it came out God!!! The Secular Humanists would say I have a problem with my keyboard. I would simply smile and say, “Every morning should be a God Morning!”
This is our 12th Sunday together, and I would like to discuss Courage & Forgiveness. As I am typing I am listening to the very familiar sound (more so lately) of rain striking the skylight in our kitchen. It makes me think of the approaching storm that will be like no other storm we’ve ever lived through. Some of us are prepared and most of us are not. I have had two primary objectives from the beginning of these Tune-ups. 1) To sound the alarm that the storm is coming. 2) To share the tools (given to me) with which to gain a higher ground.
You may recall the stories of the animals that took to higher ground long before the Tsunami struck the totally unaware vacationers sitting on the sunny Indonesian beaches sipping the exotic drinks with the little umbrellas in them, back in 2004? That’s most of us today! We’re just laying here all fat and happy…with at least a 30 screen if we’re smart, hehehe! But some of us know…not because we’re smarter. Some of us know because we’ve simply had fewer bugs on our windshields for long enough to see it…and feel it coming!
Courage is an amazing thing! On the other side of that coin, fear is the most crippling thing I have ever personally experienced. By far, my GREATEST fear used to be the fear of public speaking! I would seize right up like an engine with salt water in the crank shaft…turn white as a ghost! Now it is a great thrill for me, and I see it as opportunity whenever I get the chance to do it! How did that happen? I simply turned into it rather than away from it. Love is a shadow when you’re too scared to fight…if you want her to love you, turn into the light.
Courage and Confidence are similar in many ways…but they’re entirely different too. Courage is the father of Confidence. Courage breeds Confidence. But Confidence in and of itself is merely the offspring of expectation. I have seen many a Confident soul go wobbly when confronted with the unexpected. Conversely, the unexpected to Courage is the shining time! 🙂
Why do I bring it up today? Because the great unexpected is on its way, and when and where we need it most, Courage is simply not there. It is not in our Churches! It is not in our Schools! It is not in our Congress! It is not in our Courts! It is not in our White House! It is not even in our Community! We have become fearful…afraid to speak publically! 😦
Finally, Courage has a very important sibling…Forgiveness. And just as fear can be crippling, so too can the shadow side of Forgiveness cripple us! I think of the anger for my father I carried around with me like a ten ton albatross for most of my adult life. Every single day I thank God for the door he opened to me one day. Thirty-four years of toxic pent-up anger and resentment came bursting out of me like puss from an infected wound on a very volcanic day in late 2000! My father did not know it (consciously) at the time, but he had less than a year to live when he inexplicably opened that door to me. What I could never imagine myself doing in a million years, I was able to finally do from my heart. I was able to forgive my father and become his friend. It was the most powerfully healing experience of my life!
DO IT! Do it now, for I tell you as certainly as I know my name…you cannot make it to the higher ground with this burden! And we need to do it personally and universally! We know the he or she who has wounded us the deepest. They are the chains to our greatest freedom! So too do we know our greatest enemy, and what he seeks to take from us! And so it takes our greatest courage to step up and do the one thing that will deny him…from your heart!
“The will of God will never take you where the Grace of God will not protect you.”