I recently read a definition of courage that I love. It was displayed as an acronym…
Continuing Onward Under Rigorous And Grinding Experiences.
I thought about all the people I saw this week in the waiting area of our local cancer clinic. I was there with a dear friend, courageous in her own right, who at the age of 88 decided to end her chemotherapy and opt for quality of life. What also so impressed me during that time, though, was the camaraderie among the individuals and families that were gathered there. We talked and laughed together, while one man distributed candy to everyone in the room from the receptionist’s candy basket. No doubt, it is because, regardless of age or stage, they are all continuing onward under rigorous and grinding experiences. It is an unspoken bond.
I thought of all the men and women serving our country on foreign soil and in less than ideal conditions. Separated from family, risking their lives, they sacrifice their own comfort and their own desires for the greater good. Meanwhile, on the home front, their families display just as great a courage, pressing on without their daily presence, their good-night kisses and reassuring hugs.
Courage… it is not just found in life circumstances that loom large on the horizon. Sometimes it is found in the most unlikely places… a classroom, a cubicle, a ball field, a living room. The fact is, however, it seems as if sometimes it is easier to muster up courage for the bigger challenges of life and get so discouraged in the smaller and more daily aspects of life. Discouragement… it does indeed rob us of our courage. It can come in like a flood and is more likely to rear its ugly head when we compare ourselves or our lives to others. Somehow, we always fall short and are robbed of our hope. Encouragement gives back, inspiring us with laughter, confidence and restored hope.
So, what role do you play in living a courageous life? Are you a "pull-yourself-up-by-the-bootstraps" kind of person or do you call upon your faith, your family and your friends to help you through? Perhaps you are the one passing out the candy and helping everyone laugh. As seasons would have it, there are times that may not be "rigorous and grinding." It is then that we have even more opportunity to come alongside and encourage someone else.
This week I encourage you to more random acts of kindness. Encourage, bless, give, laugh, share, believe and love! You will not regret it!
Living It With You…