Tuesday, September 30, 2014
31 Days of Writing with The Nestor, Myquillin Smith
This is the first in a series of 31 posts as I join forces with a troop of other women on a writing quest with a sweet little blogger named Myquillin Smith. I’m not really a home decorator type, but I love this lady’s positive, simple spin on life. ( If you do like fixin’ up your house you’ll be doubly blessed visiting her blog: TheNestor.com.) We picked our own topics for the month of October, and sharpened our pencils (well, calloused our typing fingers here in the 21st century) to exercise this particular set of “muscles”.
Thanks for joining me. I haven’t written for this many days in a row since 2009. That was the year a terrible car accident forever changed my life and the life of my family (you can read about that at
That was 11 months of writing, every single day. I’ve written since then of course, but I’m not as “in shape” as I was then.
So here goes…and my topic is 31 Days of Courage.
There is no false modesty here when I make this claim: I am the world’s biggest chicken.
Though I long to be Aragorn in The Lord of the Rings, with his “Today is not that day” speech, I’m really more of a Hobbit hiding out in The Shire. And though my heart calls me to be George Bailey from It’s a Wonderful Life, (that self-sacrificing hero of Christmas fame), I’m more likely to put on an old episode of Columbo, have some Milano cookies and milk and hope there’s a way to avoid the conflict of the day.
A long time ago I heard it said that courage is not the lack of fear, but action despite fear. And putting words on paper is one way to act. In spite of fear. Fear I'll be thought a fool by those who don't beleive as I do. Fear I'll say something dumb that my kids will still be able to read long after I'm dead. Perhaps mostly the fear I'll be a hypocrite: spewing out words without the real will to live them out.
For 31 days, I plan to tackle a subject where I am a rank amateur in order to become less of one. I hope to not only write about courage, but to “do” courage in the small things of everyday life.
Believe me when I tell you the doing will test me far more than the writing.
The most courageous man of all time shows the way to ordinary and extraordinary courage. He wasn’t afraid of what people said. He didn’t care one whit what anyone thought of him. He had the courage to rub shoulders with the unpopular, to take on the deceived leaders of his day (while still treating them with respect!), and to stand up to the point of death to the great enemy of our souls.
And so for 31 days I want to learn from Him, and share what I learn with you, you who are trembling in storms of relational failure, health crisis’, financial disaster, and every other ailment that causes the human heart to fear. Perhaps we can learn to be a little more brave…to maybe do one thing every day that gives us that crummy feeling in the pit of our stomachs. Still, it will be worth it. No one who was ever lauded for their courage thought they were being brave at the time of action. It was only later, and often without their knowledge, that the fruit of courage grew heavy on the tree of their life and character.
You may not be Aragorn today, astride a beautiful steed, hair blowing in the wind while a gaggle of Orcs surrounds your outnumbered army. (And let’s not forget that’s literature). But you may have the opportunity to stick up for a coworker who's misunderstood.
You may not be Dietrich Bonhoeffer, defiantly loving even his enemies while waiting to perish in Hitler’s death camps. But you certainly can speak loving truth to your friend who is in a destructive relationship.
You can try cooking when all you’ve ever done is make sandwiches.
You can get out of bed, when all you want to do is pull the quilt over your head.
You’re not Abraham Lincoln, Mother Theresa or Magellan. But what of it? The Bravest of all still says to you:
“Be bold and very courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
Those words are for everyday people in everyday life.
Even consummate chickens, like me.
Your friend on the pilgrim road,