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Monday, September 25, 2017

Brave as a Lion

The wicked are afraid of everything, but those who live right are as brave as lions. (Proverbs 28:1 ERV)

What gets you to the place of taking action in your life? Sometimes it is much easier to just be sidelined, not in the thick of things, letting things swirl out of control without us being right in the middle of those things, isn't it? We don't actually want to be all that "brave" or "into" the actions because there is a little bit of risk beyond what we may really want to take if we choose action over being sidelined. There are really a couple of things that place us on the sidelines - one is the choice to not even put forth the effort so we aren't asked to "play" in the game - the other is that we aren't quite ready because we haven't quite learned what is needed to keep us safe if we were to be in the thick of the action. Another may be something we didn't control, but which left us kind of "laid up" or "lame" for a period of time - making it almost impossible for us to move beyond the sidelines until that "injury" is mended. Sideline sitting is just not the same as being in the game, though. To mend or to learn makes the sidelines a little more endurable, but we are likely eager to be back in the game. To lack the desire to even play in the game, that is where we need to ask God to help us!

Inaction will not help us develop in any respect - it becomes too easy to just let things go by without really taking notice of them. What we "brave" might actually make us a little "braver" in the long run. Honore de Balzac, the French novelist, says it this way: "It is easy to sit up and take notice. What is difficult is getting up and taking action." We might not want to "brave" the things in front of us, but let me assure you of this - until we get in the game God has asked us to engage in, whatever that may be, we will never develop the courage to move forward. We will endure the sidelines, but we will have no reward in the victory, for we did not participate in it. There are probably areas in each of our lives where God has asked us to step up and take some form of action. In those areas, big or small, it is often the first step of obedience that is the hardest.

Rarely do we just jump up and down with delight when the challenge ahead of us appears hard or like it will be very costly. I need new counters and faucets in the bathrooms - they are quite old, scratched, water spotted, and just need a little refreshing. The task seems simple enough as the counters/sinks are those one piece jobs. It looks like there aren't that many steps to the task, but let me assure you of this one fact - every time (and I mean every time) I have undertaken a "remodel" task of any nature, it usually has way more steps and dollars required than I ever dreamed when starting the task! Has it stopped me? I will admit, it has "slowed" me, but it hasn't stopped me completely. I deliberate for a while on how to do it, when is the right timing, how much the supplies will cost, what other things I could encounter when I get into the project, etc. Eventually, I get to the point that I undertake the project. It isn't that I am all that brave, I just get to the point I ask God to help me "brave" the task at hand and then I jump in.

Have I been injured and laid up on occasion? You betcha! Have I encountered difficulties beyond what I first dreamed possible? Certainly! Have I enjoyed overcoming those difficulties? Absolutely not! At least not until they are fully past me and I am "in the clear" from whatever they were. But...life's greatest blessings don't necessarily come to us on the sidelines of life. The celebration of victory goes to those who were participants in the journey toward it! Just sayin!