brave - adjective \ˈbrāv\: feeling or showing no fear: not afraid
1: having or showing courage
a brave soldier / a brave smile
2: making a fine show : colorful
brave banners flying in the wind
brave banners flying in the wind
So the question is... Are we brave? That question can be applied to so many life situations... Should I take the chance on a career shift? Should I let them in? Should I move? Should I ask? Should I tell him/her how I feel? We already know the answer to all of these questions the majority of the time is "yes!" The true question is are we brave enough to do it!?
Last evening we had missionaries from Brazil at our church for an interview (Bennie & Theresa DeMerchant). I don't necessarily feel a calling to a missionary field but I do feel a calling to something greater... And if you think about it we all have that calling to do more for God. I began thinking about my current life situation, it's comfortable, I have a career in my field of study, I make enough money, I get my own corner office, I get pretty good vacation, I live in one of the most beautiful cities I could imagine, my family is amazing and though I don't have a ton of close friends I love them very much... So, what if God drops something into my lap that moves me, challenges me, takes me in a new direction and scares me? Will I be brave enough to follow his lead?
I've had lots of time to consider getting married and having a family, whether or not I would be willing to move out of my City, whether or not I would be willing to quit my job and uproot my life, sell my house and go for love... And not just whether or not I am willing but I'm a sickie, I fret over things, could I do it without being ill for months? Am I brave enough? To that end I've decided whether I am homesick or not, for love, I would go. But, to my shame, I've not thought as much about what if God calls me... I suppose it's crossed my mind but I've not thought it all through... All my fears, thoughts and feelings would be the same and when it comes down to it, I would still be doing it for love. I also have to consider how could I do something for myself and another human being and not be willing to do the same, at least, for God? So I can be brave for human emotion but what about for the Spirit of God?
When I looked up the definition of brave I noticed the usually meaning that I've spoken about above but what about the less common of the meanings? Would I be brave for God in those ways? Would I "make a fine show" of my life, have I "made a fine show" of a Christian example? And if not yet, am I brave enough to begin to "make a fine show" of my life from this point forward no matter what others say about the change?
Of course, we know intellectually all of the answers to these questions should be yes, but I think we have to make it more than intellectual... Pie-in-the-sky, "IF He ever asks, I will... But He's not asked yet..." giving ourselves excuse for non-commitment and lack of action on our own part. We must make the decision to say "yes" to God no matter the question... And once we've made that decision firm within our own minds and are confident so as not to be swayed by the negative opinions of others (if they should arise) we need to be quiet! That's right, I know it's not always comfortable in such a busy environment to silence ourselves but we must... I know when you're in prayer you feel like it's almost disrespectful not to be speaking all the time, like some "prayer police" are walking around rapping the knuckles of anyone not making a grand noise... But that's not the case. I don't have any friends who won't listen to me speak... Nor whom I refuse to listen to when they speak and God doesn't either. Listen, He will speak and He will call you.
Once God has called and you've gone for love there will be a "brave" fire inside! It will be excellent and splendid and it will warm all those who come in contact with you! You will have a life lived with a brave roar instead of a quiet question.
Lastly I would like to leave you with a few lyrics that seem to fit today's theme... The two songs, along with the Demerchant interview were the start of these thoughts and will remain challenging me, and I hope you!
Everybody’s been there, everybody’s been stared down by the enemy. Fallen for the fear, and done some disappearing, bow down to the mighty. Don’t run, stop holding your tongue, maybe there’s a way out of the cage where you live, maybe one of these days you can let the light in. Show me how big your brave is!
I used to bite my tongue and hold my breath, scared to rock the boat and make a mess. So I sat quietly, agreed politely, I guess that I forgot I had a choice... I stood for nothing, so I fell for everything.
And since your history of silence won’t do you any good, did you think it would? Let your words be anything but empty!.. Honestly I wanna see you be brave!
(Brave - Sara Bareilles. Roar - Katy Perry)
This post is dedicated to my BFF
& one of the bravest people I know, Teri-Lyn.