Posts Tagged ‘strength

07
Mar
09

True Courage by Miz Pink

courage-symbolsDeke posted a bit ago (right here in fact in the post “Taking the leap”) about  the need to kinda surrender oneself to faith. He used an example of leaping out of an airplane (yes with a parachute) and the relative levels of courage involved with the process both for the people who don’t take the leap ultimately and for those who do.

It sparked a couple thoughts. First, I thought it was kinda cool that Deke didn’t suggest that the person who shows up at the airplane and then passes on getting on board to go up and jump was a coward. His points seemed to be relative levels of courage. Those who even show up have some level of courage to get that far, just not enough (or the right kind of courage) to make the leap.

The other thing is got me to thinking about is that fear isn’t the absence of courage and courage isn’t the absence of fear. Alot of people make the mistake of thinking so just like they get it in there craniums that love is the absence of hate or that hate (or even anger) is the absence or lack of enough love.

Before I ramble any more though, a famous quote:

Courage is not the absence of fear, but the judgement that something else is more important than fear. – Ambrose Redmoon

I have no idea who Ambrose Redmoon is and don’t really care to find out since the important thing was that he had a cool quote that fits my post today.

Anyhoo here’s the deal:

Courage, real courage, is about making the right choice and putting someone or something ahead of yourself. It has little to do with conquering fear and maybe absolutely nothing to do with it.

People who are scared don’t lack enough courage. They simply have fear that blinds or paralyzes them to better options. People who are brave don’t fight past their fears as much as they simply discover that being afraid can’t be enough to hold them back.

I say this mostly because I want to sound deep…no no, that’s not right (but I HOPE it does). I say this because I think that people sometimes overuse the word courage.

A woman takes on the care of a relative’s child when that relative dies or she goes to school while raising three kids and working three jobs in the absence of a husband and people say, “She’s so brave to do that.”

A man makes a rational business decision to save a company and put it on the right track and people say “That was a courageous move” just because it might piss off some board members and get him yelled at or something or even fired thus allowing him to cash in on his golden parachute.

There are brave people and courageous actions in the world. The two example I gave above are simply people doing the right thing. Something they shouldn’t think twice about doing. Running into a burning building to save someone you don’t know strikes me as courageous. Quitting a job you need badly because it would be morally reprehensible and wrong to keep doing that job may be brave.

I think bravery should be honored. But I don’t think we should roll out praise for courageousness when people are only doing what they should have done in the first place.

24
Feb
09

Two-fer Tuesday: Comfort by Deacon Blue

dock1God promises us comfort if we keep the faith. For some of us, though, that comfort may not come in this life—or it may be fleeting when it does.

That’s the thing that sucks about life. Whether we’re on this planet to “serve time” or to grow spiritually or to pass through a stage before some next transmogrification (which may itself simply be another step in God’s chain toward something even better) or “just because,” we won’t always be among those who find comfort regularly.

It’s a sobering and even disheartening thought.

But it’s truth, and we would be mad to deny the truth, whether we are among those who believe in God or among those who don’t—or even those who are on the fence.

But I think that we can find comfort. If we stay strong in our beliefs (and atheists have them too, obviously, non-deistic though they may be) and those beliefs are grounded and centered in a moral and healthy place, we can tap into wellsprings of comfort, at least for a time. If we choose our friends and spouses well, and we raise our children well, we can have comfort.

Ease, perhaps not. Constant comfort, probably not. jesus-christ-w-lamb

But nothing in life is constant, not even life. Comfort is there. There is strength to be found if you look. I encourage you to cultivate much of that comfort through God and Jesus and the Holy Spirit.

Many of you won’t, because that’s not where your beliefs lie. For those people, I’ll pray that you have comfort where it is needed in your life.

And if you don’t believe my prayers have power, well, that’s OK. It’s the thought that counts, right?

Be comforted, folks.

19
Oct
08

Ace In the Hole

Some days, all I have is Jesus.

Seriously. Sometimes, that’s all I have to get me through a day. The only thing that keeps me from blowing a gasket. My faith in a risen Lord and Messiah, my savior Jesus Christ, along with the knowledge that through becoming born again my soul is secure and that God is backing me—that is sometimes that only thing that make me able to keep going.

A lot of people like to pick on people for using Christianity as a crutch. OK. So what’s wrong with a crutch? If your leg is seriously sprained or broken, how the hell else are you going to get around?

So Christianity, or more specifically God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit, are sometimes my crutch. Or the safety net under that high-wire I’m trying to walk. Or the flotation device that my seat becomes should my plane have to make a landing on water.

I won’t make any damn apologies for that. It’s a fool who doesn’t use his or her support system when things get rough. Right now, I don’t have much of a support system, and things are pretty crappy. So I’m calling on my spiritual lifelines.

That doesn’t make me weak. It means I have some common sense. Because truth be told, we all are weak at times. Hurt. Helpless. Struggling.

And I’m telling you that it’s God that grants me the strength sometimes—that little extra boost I don’t have in my anymore and I know I don’t have—to have gotten through some stuff, and to continue to get through, that other people have done things like put bullets in their head to solve. People in my extended circle who, by the way, didn’t lean on God. Ever.

Crutch? Sometimes.

I prefer to think of God as my ace in the hole.

21
Jul
08

Pain or Suffering?

I know the usual phrase is “pain and suffering,” but I’m going to challenge all of you with the title of today’s post to shed that notion. To embrace the idea that they don’t have to go together and you can make a choice. I would further put forth to you that you while you should realize that you are going to experience pain that you purposefully try to steer clear of suffering. Jesus promised us that we would, as his followers, experience tribulations (pain), but he died and suffered so that we wouldn’t have to—so that we can turn to God and tap into the Holy Spirit to get through pain and bypass (or at least drastically shorten) the suffering part of things.

I was inspired to talk about this today when I saw a statement on a Christian issues-oriented blog by a commenter that went like this:

In life pain is inevitable, suffering is optional

Now, ain’t that a kicker? I’ve heard a lot of aphorisms before, but never that one. I did some Google searching and it seems it’s a Zen and Buddhist philosophical statement. I found a lot of stuff related to that phrase, but here are a few things that expound upon it a bit: a sermon here from a Unitarian-Universalist church, a blog post here, and a post at a grief discussion group here.

Let it never be said that I don’t tap into non-biblical sources for my inspiration. Zen Buddhist folks can teach a lot about life and how we view it. The key is to remember that we have another life beyond this one and we have to tie the two together. This aphorism about pain vs. suffering seems key to me in understanding what kind of bullet Jesus took for us and how he would want us to conduct our lives when the defecation hits the rotary oscillation device.




Deacon Blue is the blogging persona of editor and writer Jeffrey Bouley. The opinions of Jeff himself on this blog, and those expressed as Deacon Blue, in NO WAY should be construed as the opinions of anyone with whom he has worked, currently works, or will work with in the future. They are personal opinions and views, and are sometimes, frankly, expressed in more outrageous terms than I truly feel most days.

Jeff Bouley

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