Today I’ve been thinking a lot about courage. This word keeps popping into my head, so like the scholar I am, I stopped to Google it. If you could see my workspace, you would find toys in place of books, a yellow Crayola marker as my highlighter and me munching on a half-eaten granola bar left by my 6-year-old office mate. Lucky for me, he likes the chocolate chip ones!
But here is what I found as the definition of courage:
~ Strength in the face of pain or grief.
~The ability to do something that frightens one.
When I heard the news of the “Safer At Home” order beginning Monday, it hit me that we are collectively entering a New Normal together. (Click to hear my pastor describe our “new normal,” it’s so helpful!)
And in this “New Normal” we are living with the pain and grief COVID19 has caused, as it has changed everything, and have no clue what post-COVID19 life will look like.
Anytime I face something new, I call on my friend courage. I realize that I have depended on courage, the past six weeks, and I want to take her with me into tomorrow.
I want to have the courage to be intentional as I step into my new normal. Amy Weatherly puts it this way:
“Everything in our life has spilled out and is scattered in bits and pieces all over the ground and it’s up to us to decide which pieces deserve to be picked up again and which pieces deserve to be left behind.”
I think it takes courage to both pick up and leave behind.
I’m scared that I’ll forget what I’ve learned or make the wrong choice. But God promises to go with me. He says He is my shepherd, and as I venture forward, He will steer me off hard, worn paths towards the path of wholeness.
I’m afraid I’ll choose the same hard, worn paths I’ve chosen over the years because they are familiar.
The paths of busyness so I feel important. Or overcommitting to earn affection. The path of taking charge instead of offering my heart, rushingmy kids instead of looking into their eyes, or saving the last of my energy for my husband instead of giving him my best.
These hard, worn paths appear as if they will lead to the affection, control and security I crave, but in reality, it is only the Shepherd who can fulfill my needs.
I know I am loved because I am His.
He is in control, so I follow His voice of Love that my heart knows so well.
And I am secure because His rod and a staff promise to draw me back in whenever I stray.
So, may we have courage today to listen to and follow God’s lead as we enter our New Normal. Even in the valley of the shadow of death, we fear no evil Because God is near.
For in order to be a shadow, there must first be light.
And with our friend courage, we take a step towards the light.
In the words of Aslan, from the Chronicles of Narnia….
Take courage, dear heart,