What does it mean to live a courageous life?
I think the minutiae depends on who you ask. It might look different to a soldier, a septuagenarian, a mother, and a child. But I think you would find commonalities in everything that they say, namely that courage lies in subjecting yourself to something larger than yourself for a better good then simply your own momentary comfort.
Perhaps the soldier would tell stories of the battlefield facing fears that are hard to comprehend and brothers and sisters in arms laying down their lives for those they serve with.
An old woman might speak about maintaining a marriage in the face of Alzheimer’s, memory loss, or dementia, continuing to care for a person who no longer remembers you.
A mother might talk about setting unpopular boundaries with her kids and going through all the effort and work to maintain those boundaries despite how uncomfortable it is for her personally to do so, and all the times her kids remind her that other kids parents don’t have the same standards.
And I think if you asked my five-year-old he would tell you that courage is protecting his little siblings from anyone that might harm them, putting their health and safety before his own, although perhaps not quite in those words.
There is a nobility in the courage that is our birthright as Christians, daughters and sons of a Messiah who truly was a warrior king but not in the way that anyone expected. Christ went into battle for us, battle against not simply the Romans, which would’ve been quite popular with Jews at his time, but with death itself.
The harder, better road.
We are baptized into the family of that warrior king and find ourselves deputized under his same mantle – not the mantle of worldly glory, but the mantle of the better, harder road.
The mantle of servant hood.
The mantle of self forgetfulness.
The mantle of humility.
The mantle of courage.
This is our birthright.
This is who we are.
We are fighters on our knees, not seeking the glory of the arena, but the good of our sister who cannot fight for herself.
We could not fight her own battle against death, so Jesus fought for us.
And so in his stead we find ourselves called to fight the battles that we are able for those who are not – the marginalized, the unborn, the forgotten, and the helpless. This is one of the most powerful ways that we imitate our king and follower commander.
This is how we are brave.
This is how we serve.
I’d love to hear your stories about how YOU are brave right where you are. Just comment and let me know. I love to read your stories and learn how I can better pray for you.