Life is a Revelation…be encouraged

Virtue #13-Courage


I haven’t written a new post in some time. I’ve reblogged several because I felt they were in line with how I think and I wanted to give them as wide an audience as possible. The truth is if I reblogged every post I feel deserves a wider audience I would spend my day hitting the reblog button. Suffice it to say, many of you are incredible writers, capable of moving us readers heart and soul with your written words. My hat is off to all of you.

But now it is time to write about something that close to me heart. Also it is something I have struggled with, in one form or another, for most of my life.

Recently I have had several conversations with a young person who is working through some major changes in her life. She is seeking to know her True-self and also deal with several facets of her life that do not reflect the person she would like to be. In my discussions with her the word courage frequently comes up. And, of course that has gotten me to think about what courage is.

Let me begin by saying I believe there are two types of Courage: There is False Courage which masquerades as the Real Thing, but isn’t, and I’ll show why a little later. Then there is True Courage , which allows us to have the confidence to face (notice I didn’t say overcome, that is for another post) all our fears.

Much of what I see today is False Courage. False Courage looks outward. It is always dependent on external circumstances. False Courage will say, ” There is strength in numbers.” or “My best friend (insert significant other, kids, cow-workers, family members, team mates, you get the idea) and I will get this done (or work on this, or face it, or produce it).”  or “If X happens then I can…” What happens is we shift the focus off of ourselves. The end result is we drift off into acceptance, addictions, fantasies, or we become experts at helping others be courageous.

See if any of these statements ring a bell:

  • The world is filled with idiots.
  • If only I had ______________.
  • He, She, They let me down…again.
  • Circumstances just didn’t line up for me.
  • I will fake it until I make it.
  • God I hope this doesn’t blow up in my face.

This is how we can look like we have Courage. We can throw it out there as a great defense, but it is a lie. It is a cheap imitation. It keeps us from being truly Strong, truly Better, and truly Ready For Whatever.

False Courage spends it’s web by convincing everyone else we have reached a harmonious state of togetherness. But when that carefully constructed bubble gets pierced by an event, or an incident, or a person that provokes our questions and/or fears, then our carefully constructed world falls apart. In essence we lose it. That is when the same old life sucking, soul destroying insecurities raise their little gnarly heads and we are back to mush. It is because we never had the Real Thing. We didn’t have True Courage.

True Courage is an entirely different beast. True Courage is a trust in ourselves and it’s focus is inward.

Look at these qualities and see how different they are:

  • We become inspired by openness.
  • We listen to and obey that still, small voice within us.
  • We are ready to go to stand strong…and accept the consequences.
  • Our faith is increased.
  • We will bend, but we are no longer willing to break.

True Courage gets foundational. By that I mean it penetrates into the roots of who you are. True Courage is, as they say, a game changer. It can alter your life and your world. You can go deeper, climb higher, and most importantly, be more you.

Susie and I live in a log home, up a lane from a road that is only 1 1/2 miles long. We have a few acres and our home sits on a hillside in the middle of those acres. We have a small wood stove in the kitchen/dining area and a large fireplace in the living room. We enjoy the added warmth of a wood fire, so throughout the cooler colder portions of the year we usually have a fire going in at least one of them. To start a fire we take a small piece of split wood and using a hatchet we hone off a few fine, curly shavings. Those little wispy pieces bare faint resemblance to the log we sawed up and split earlier in the season. We roll the shavings up into a loose ball and lay it on the fire grate, then we add several twigs, finishing it off with several small branches slightly larger than a couple of fingers. As we light the shavings, we blow ever so gently on their soft glow until a small flame erupts. Shortly the kindling ignites and we begin to place larger pieces of split wood on the grate until we have a roaring fire.

What you have at this moment is a few fine shavings with the fire starter applied. What I want you to do in the form of life-actions, is work gently with this kindling until a small flame erupts, Nurse and nourish that flame by adding the right size material until a roaring and consuming fire develops. Don’t add more than your fire is ready for. Too big of a log will extinguish the flame because there isn’t enough heat intensity to catch the lager piece a blaze. Take on more than your ready for and the fie burning within you will struggle. Be patient, let time work for you. Choose your battles and be wise, but always, always, always feed your fire.

Be encouraged!

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19 thoughts on “Virtue #13-Courage

  1. free penny press on said:

    Wonderful post which runs along the theme of my post today. “Choose your battles” etc. We must listen for that whisper our inner truth says, it will never let us down.
    Thank you for a wonderful post today. A great Sunday sermon 🙂

    • stephenedwards425 on said:

      Thank you very much. My Father was fond of telling me, “Bud, pick your battles, not every damn hill is worth dying for.” Only took 57 years, but those words are starting to have meaning…hahaha!

      Be encouraged!

  2. Once again, you’ve written a great post. I agree about real courage being a game changer. It has internal focus and takes, I think, healthy self-esteem. If you don’t love yourself or self-approve, you can’t live courageously. It takes integrity and honesty to act with courage.
    I love the analogy you’ve used with making a fire.
    Well done, Stephen!!

    • stephenedwards425 on said:

      Ah Lisa thank you for all those gracious words…I believe I may have a couple more posts within me that are tied to this subject…the days of the 3000-5000 word posts are gone…I don’t know if that is because I’m becoming a better writer or I just got tired of having that keyboard imprint on my forehead when I fell asleep at the computer…I suspect the latter…hahaha!

      But let me ask you…which comes first?…integrity?…honesty?… or courage?

      Susie says we should write a book.

      Be encouraged!

  3. Seconding ‘A Gripping Life’s compliment on the fire building metaphor, thank you for reminding the value of patience and the order of small actions building toward a culminating roar. All moments create the experience needed to learn, grow, and evolve in due Time. Thank you for providing motivation needed today.

    • stephenedwards425 on said:

      Thanks, again, Katrina. The problem with those small actions is they tend to work in both directions. While small positive actions can build into a wonderful, compassionate, loving life. Small negative actions will, over time, take one to the very brink of despair.

      Having spent ample time with the latter, I’m working hard and focusing on the former now…and, although it can be hard slogging at times, I much prefer it. 🙂

      Be encouraged!

      • katrinaperkins on said:

        Quite right. What we focus on or do, leads to more of the same- better and worse. Always lovely to remember we are all truly the same- trying the best we can, sometimes succeeding, sometimes covering-up, sometimes making it look easy, other times making it harder. Thanks for sharing yourself, especially the encouragement!

      • stephenedwards425 on said:

        Thanks…and have a great week.

        Be encouraged!

  4. Very nicely done and so true. I think we struggle more with ourselves verses reality. Drawing on that place within will give us the strength and courage-if we remember to do it! 🙂

    • stephenedwards425 on said:

      You are right…I have always struggled more with myself than reality…for years I was my own worst enemy…God am I grateful those days are over!

      Be encouraged!

  5. Brilliant as always, thank you! 🙂

  6. Pingback: Movement of Jah People « clearskies, bluewater

    • stephenedwards425 on said:

      Thanks for the reference…I left you a brief note on the Hippie Movement post…thanks for writing about it…be encouraged!

  7. freethewronged on said:

    Reblogged this on Upside Down.

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