“I am convinced there are many ways to be brave. The easiest to recognize is a willingness to take physical risks that most people would not consider. One of the salient characteristics of all creatures is behaviour that conforms to a desire for self-preservation. In my view, this tendency is virtually an evolutionary imperative, to survive and reproduce. So what is it that impels some people to risk their survival on behalf of others or even in the name of an idea?”
Glimpsed in the hero’s eye of a scene out of a Oscar winning movie.
Interpreted in moments portrayed from a 16th century battlefield.
Found in the hearts of Spiderman, Hancock, Gladiator, Guinevere, Robin Hood, Braveheart, Troy...
But never fully understood by a 21ST century middle-class citizen? Right?
Everyday life happens to all of us. Going about doing what you do best. Moving in and out of deadlines and against never-ending time constraints. Finding sustained joy in the impact of truly living. Working through ever-mountainous regions of character flaws but holding the sure hope of complete transformation. One day. Seeking sunshine and beautiful rolling hills. Strolling and sometimes running to keep up with this ever-demanding world. Working for a solid salary with the fixed focus of being able to survive.
And then, without warning, it hits.
Caught in the eye of a storm you know must pass.
It’s that telephone call that leaves your phone in pieces on the floor. That conversation you didn’t expect. The devastation of a situation you cannot control. The aching loss of someone or something. A matrix of disease and destruction that leaves you questioning the meaning of life itself and seeking out an answer. Any answer. The apple cart has been upset and the resolution remains undefined. It is never straightforward. Never scientific. Like some sick experiment gone wrong. The mystery of our existence.
Whatever it is – is a giant in the form of an obstacle to overcome. Imagine how David felt? An insignificant 18 year old boy who comes out to face Goliath with no armor, no sword, no training. A pathetic sling. That’s all. Like Moses with a stick to part an ocean of escape from a massive Egyptian army.
Goliath falls. The red sea parts.
Perhaps courage is the God-given confidence and momentum to speak and act when standing in the face of your goliath.
Courage by definition is the ability to face difficulty or danger or uncertainty or pain without being overcome with fear or being deflected from a certain course of action. Courage is the force inside of us that allows us to plot through a path and be undaunted by opposition. To not be swayed to the left or right.
There are many ways to be brave. It is not confined to one experience or moment of anti-conformity. It is not inherent within the DNA of a few chosen. It is not simply about being that individual who goes against the grain. I see it as more of a construction site in building one experience upon another. There’ll be opportunities to stand out and rise up.
However, there are more times in life where all we can or are able to do is breathe and continue with some kind of hope that seasons change. To move on with faith when disappointment has inevitably bashed some part of us to the ground.