The Webster dictionary defines courage as “fearless or brave quality”. Recently, I have been impressed and inspired by people who are courageous. These people don’t appear to be expressing this courage “on purpose”; it’s such a part of their nature; they can’t help but exude it.
For me, the most obvious and publicized person who represents this definition in recent weeks is Dave Cathey, President and COO of Chick-fil-A. A firestorm erupted because of an interview and the result was thousands of people coming to Chick-fil-A’s and Mr. Cathey’s defense.
Mr. Cathey didn’t hide behind his chicken sandwich hoping no one found out he had deep beliefs in God and Biblical principles and neither did Gabby Douglas, the newly crowned Olympic gold medalist.
Miss Douglas cheerfully and openly gave God the credit for her abilities and talents, giving Him “all the glory”.
Another person who represents ‘courage’ is Vice Presidential hopeful, Congressman Paul Ryan. He has strong beliefs in how the government should manage finances for our country. He doesn’t cower back and speak in vague terms. He’s out there laying it all on the line!
What an example of courage these individuals are expressing in unabashedly sharing their beliefs—whether they represent religion, politics or finances– it is the courage that impresses me the most, in that they remain unashamed and unafraid of any backlash which may result in their comments.
Which causes me to ask, am I unafraid? Are you unafraid?
Admittedly, I am a worrier. (I wish I were more of a warrior; it’s amazing what a few vowels can do to change a word, isn’t it?) I allow the fear of “what if” engulf my thoughts and actions, sometimes to the point that I become ineffective in my sphere of influence.
Recently in church, one of our lead Pastors shared a quote from Dr. E. Stanley Jones. It begins with, “I am inwardly fashioned for faith, not fear. Fear is not my native land; faith is.” It continues with, “I live better by faith and confidence than by fear, doubt and anxiety. In anxiety and worry, my being is gasping for breath-these are not my native air. But in faith and confidence, I breathe freely- these are my native air.”
Dr. Stanley went on to quote a Johns Hopkins University doctor who said, “We do not know why it is that worriers die sooner than the non- worriers, but that is a fact”.
So why should we worry about standing up for our beliefs and convictions? What will we gain by not supporting the people, ideas and beliefs we feel are important to our life and the life of our family and country?
If someone whose business successfully garnered $4billion dollars last year isn’t afraid to confidently and considerately stand for what he believes, and if a young Olympian can be courageous, we should be also.
There is always danger, but we have that every day when we pull our car out of the driveway or step off a curb at a busy intersection. Don’t let that stop you.
Let’s start an epidemic, standing strong for what we believe and share it. Catch the “Courageous Craze”, it’s highly contagious!!!