"Do now, do now, what you will wish to have done when your moment comes to die." [St. Angela Merici]

Thursday, October 20, 2011

It Takes Courage

by Micky Wolf

Upon learning I would be launching a blog in the near future, a dear friend remarked, “that takes courage”. At the time, her comment was simply part of a delightful catching up conversation. And then it hit me. Putting self out there in such a public forum can initially be quite intimidating even for those of us who confess to a certain delight in engaging in risky adventures. 

For the less brave—or more sensible as the case may be—knowing one has a support system can be a great incentive in pursuing the new or the unknown. It helps us to envision risk taking as ‘more than just me’ as an antidote to the fear and unsettledness that often accompanies even the thought of trying something different. That we can name at least two or three faithful souls; spouse, family, friends, co-workers, or clergy as specific members of our team, is reassuring. 

What happens when we cannot name, or cannot ‘see’ the presence of the support that seems so necessary in order for us to choose to take a risk, all the while knowing such an action may provide incredible new experiences of living out our greatest desires for a more meaningful and purposeful life? Because as human beings we place significant worth and value in what we can see rather than what is unseen, all of which can lead to or exacerbate our sense of believing we are mostly alone on this journey. The real truth is—we are not alone. A few of us may have an entire legion of associations and relationships in our daily lives, but depending on individual circumstances, most of us can count two or three faithful souls as members of our support team. Maybe the question is: when we cannot see our team, are we able to recognize and draw support from less visible resources? 

Now, take a closer look at the above photo. For those who regularly practice the fine art of plunging earthward, unencumbered by such things as FAA approved wombs of layered fabric and steel, there is something of note: two of the people are facing one another while the other two are looking outward.  

I can tell you right now, as a recovering controller—IF you could get me drunk enough to try such a crazy thing—I would be the one gravitating to the face-in position. Hey, if we’re all going to make a nice, messy splat, I want to be looking into the equally glazed over eyes of a kindred spirit similarly aghast and wondering why we decided this whole thing was such a great idea in the first place. But, here’s the neat thing about this foursome. The two people facing out may not be able to see their companions, but they can certainly feel their presence—which to my way of thinking makes them even more courageous. Okay, so it’s not much of a difference, given the group will either celebrate after they land, or collectively moan as they become part of it.

Some of the best experiences of becoming more fully the person God has created us to be are very often those involving our willingness to take one risk, then another, and another. The challenge will be that where there are risks, inevitably there are a multitude of questions, most of which we try to find answers for before we take the risk. Ergo, it is no longer a risk, which therefore pretty much eliminates the need for any real courage. 

So, what might be the less obvious possibilities for support that can stir the courage needed to step out and take a risk? — try faith, hope, trust and perseverance, to name a few. If tapped, these tangibles of an incredibly unlimited support system ‘other than me, within me’  can provide an amazingly strong and resilient foundation from which to take the kinds of risks that will stand us in good stead time and time again.

There is one thing to remember, however, and that is this: these amazing resources have their source in the One unlimited resource—our Triune God. Do we really comprehend how much He desires every day, and in all ways, that we will tear away the wrappings, open, and use these precious gifts?  Interestingly enough that is usually the first jumping off point in taking a risk in any moment on any given day—choosing to believe in that which is unseen, rather than seen.

Ask yourself today, “What is holding me back from taking a leap into an exciting new adventure? 

Now, on with the blog.


  1. Great article. Thanks for starting the blog!

  2. Yes, it takes courage to do new things.