Sunday, January 22

twenty seconds

"Sometimes all you need is twenty seconds of insane courage...and I promise you, something great will come of it.  --Benjamin Mee, or Matt Damon.

The lion is one of the first characters who taught us about courage. He was seeking the wizard, to give him a heart so that he could be full of courage, so that he could ditch the fear and no longer be cowardly. Later, he learns that he has looked fear in the face and acted against it, which made him pretty courageous anyway. Martin Luther King Jr. stood up, courageously, against laws and acts that were placed against all people of his race and culture, and decided that he wanted more, no matter the consequences, against all fears.

And so we learn that being courageous does not mean we do not fear; of course we fear. Fear is very real; fear is part of our fallen world. Instead, it means that we see fear but we decide that it will not defeat us. It will not break us or stop us. We learn that being courageous is desirable, something we all strive for, but hardly ever know how to do it.

My counselor says that courage is living with a soft, full, open heart; a heart that lives out of the selfishness, away from the natural pull, outward in relationship with God and others. You see, our natural selves tell us to live inward, watching out for us and only us, preventing us from harm and pain. We pull into ourselves and our desires, and away from those around us, and mostly from God. Every time we put on the armor that protects us from truly feeling, we block anything good from coming in and making a difference.

He told me that if I decide, on a minute-to-minute, daily basis, to live out of the selfishness, out of the hurt, and into God and my husband and those around me, it will be the most courageous thing I'll ever do. If I choose (because, let's face it, it is not an easy, voluntary reaction) to turn away from the hurt, not to let the fear pull me in, and feel with a soft heart, I will be courageous and brave, and I will see great things happen. He says his wife is the bravest, most courageous woman he knows, because she has a murky past, full of fear and hurt, but she lives out of that every single day.

And I have big dreams; dreams to make a difference in this world. A dream to start with the hearts of all people and to make a serious impact in the way our world operates. I have dreams like Martin had dreams, and seeing those dreams come to pass will take some massive courage.

I cannot stress this word enough today. I cannot repeat it enough times to make you understand how it is feeding my faith every day. It is all we have when it comes to choosing how to live and how to react. My counselor also told me, "There is only enough grace for today." God never promised us tomorrow or ten years from now, He promised us today. And this grace that He promises today, is enough to help me live courageously, today.

Benjamin Mee took twenty seconds to say hello to his wife, and twenty seconds to decide to buy a zoo. And those were the two best decisions he ever made in life. Fear could have defeated him and told him that she was too pretty and that property was too expensive. Instead, he got brave. His heart welled with courage, and he said yes to big opportunities. It's time that we, I, start living full of courage because amazing, huge, impacting things happen when you do.

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