A word of encouragement from Rich Dixon
“I think those riders have a lot of courage.”
I agree. It takes courage to step out of one’s comfort zone to help others. And this woman’s response to last week’s post about sacrifice got me thinking about courage and sacrifice and how they’re connected.
As Americans we’re fed a false notion of courage – the reckless bravery of John Wayne fearlessly facing down the bad guys. But authentic courage is a good deal more consequential than this Hollywood narrative.
My definition of courage, borrowed from my friend Gus Lee’s wonderful book Courage: The Backbone Of Leadership, is “doing what’s right, regardless of risk to self.”
Facing the fear of consequences and doing what’s right, day after day, in the big and small and often unnoticed things – that’s real courage.
Our teammates made a commitment to some kids they’ll never meet. They took time away from their families and reached out to friends and family to ask for financial support. They did difficult rides and slept on floors with strangers who snore. Lots of unknowns. Lots of fears. Lots of sacrifice.
Lots of courage.
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When the disciples saw Jesus walking on the water, they were terrified. His response tells us about the true nature of courage.
“Take courage. It is I. Don’t be afraid.”
At first, “Don’t be afraid” sounds like He’s telling them, and us, we shouldn’t feel fear. But if there’s no fear, why would we need courage?
Jesus knows we all experience fear. He’s suggesting we can face and overcome our fears. And He tells us how. We don’t have to do it by ourselves.
“It is I.”
Jesus placed Himself in the middle of the process. When we worry about the risk, when we’re wary of the consequences, we don’t need to summon superhuman courage and vanquish fear on our own.
He’s with us.