Tag Archives: Courage

Are You Willing?

I admire the courage of those who have risked their jobs and the support of family, friends and associates to take a stance, to walk in a new way and to make a new dream a reality. It is such people that make things change. It’s like the thoughts that many have, the conversations about how this or that should be different, suddenly become REAL when someone stops talking and starts doing.

“Everyone who has given up home, brothers or sisters, father or mother, wife or children or property for my sake, will receive many times as much . . .” (See Matthew 19: 23-30)

What am I being called to let go of in order to make a new dream a reality?


Outside The Walls

Take a look at Jeremiah 18: 18-20 and Matthew 20: 17-28.

Two prophets, once hailed and sought after, now ridiculed and plotted against.

I remain amazed at those who have the courage to speak up and go against great powers that be. Not those who just spout off to spout off, but those prophets in our midst who speak out of a conviction that is born of love. I admire such love and the courage that it takes to finally speak out. I can only imagine the risk involved and the trust that somehow in the midst of it all, God will provide.

The movie “Milk” illustrates this well. If you have not seen it, I highly recommend it. It shows the journey of a prophet, the ups and downs, the fears and the triumphs, and ultimately . . . the price. It shows a man who, at 40 years old, feels he has done little in his life. It shows a man with a growing fire in his belly, wondering about himself, wondering about the injustice that he sees, until after a very long time of gestation, finally he speaks out and takes action. And in a few short years his life and the lives of thousands are transformed. . . . All because one day, one courageous day, his silence ended and he spoke out.

Do I have such courage? Do we? I wonder. I really wonder if most of us remain quiet about issues that really matter to us so as not to ruffle feathers, in order to keep a placid, yet lifeless peace? Of course, some of us have much at stake. Corporate whistle blowers loose their jobs, people are thrown out of churches, excommunicated, loose their families, gain the respect of some and loose the respect of some who they thought would always stand by their side. When things heated up and He got arrested, even the disciples ran and hid. “I tell you, I don’t even know the man!” said one of His closest – Peter.

I want the courage of the prophet. And, I don’t want it. Can I pay the price? Can I trust enough? I don’t know.


The Price of Speaking Up

Jeremiah 20: 7-9
Matthew 16: 21-27

Sometimes the truth is a real pain in the ass!

Were you ever in a situation, perhaps in your church, job or in a political situation, or perhaps in your own family, where people were talking about something with which you passionately disagreed?  Or perhaps it was a friend of yours or your own partner who was doing something that was hurting him/herself or others.  You knew in your heart that you needed to say something, but were afraid of what the reaction would be.  Your heart began to pound as you gathered the courage to speak up.  And then you finally did.  Chances are, there were some people that did not like what you said.

The reality is, sometimes people are not going to like us if we speak up.  We see in the readings from Jeremiah and Matthew how Jeremiah and Jesus are hated for what they say.  I’m sure both were tempted to just put up and shut up.  Life would have probably been more peaceful, more tidey.  Yet somehow, when we don’t speak up, something inside of us dies.  A Word inside of us dies and a person or persons who might otherwise be lifted up to a new way of thinking and being, go on their way living half a life.

It’s important to remember that when prophets speak they don’t speak in anger.  They don’t just throw around negative energy.  They speak out of a place of love and concern.

Am I willing to let go my ego’s desire to be liked, in order that someone might hear a word of challenge that may help them?  Do I have the courage to speak the truth in love?


Be Not Afraid

Jeremiah 20: 10-13
Matthew 10: 26-33

There is so much to be afraid of.  Terrorism, fundamentalism, the economy, the future for our children.  Fear of being rejected, fear of being killed, fear of dying.  I think my biggest fear these days is the fear of dying with my music still inside me.

Wayne Dyer, in one of his talks (I can’t remember which one) said “don’t die with your music still inside you.”  All of us have a song inside that we are meant to sing.  Those of us whose “song” sounds a little different (or maybe a lot!) need some courage to sing the song in the midst of those who would want that song silenced.  In the Scripture readings of this past Sunday found in the common Lectionary, we are beckoned not to be afraid.  That is the theme that comes forth like waves on the ocean in this Liturgy . . .

Be not afraid.

Be not afraid.

Be not afraid.

Don’t die with your music still inside you.  Sing your song and in so doing live not in fear, but in courage and freedom.  But,  . . . . we MUST be willing to pay the price!!  That’s the key.  Like Jeremiah, those who have sung a different song have had to deal with much rejection.  But imagine what our world would be like without those who dream and without prophets who lay before us a vision of what might be beyond the seeming confines of “reality.”