About Me

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Davison, MI, United States
I am a middle child,born to middleclass parents.Two older brothers,one younger sister.I am married,and have 3 children, Elizabeth who is married and has 3 little boys. She is lucky enough to be able to stay home with them. Her husband, Alan is a Dr. of Physical Therapy. Jonathan who is single and has just finished college and is still trying to figure out life. Katherine, who had a brain tumor and died at the age of 11, 18 years ago.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Courage, Fear and Faith

The days are difficult.  They call for courage and faith-Thomas Merton

I started to put together these thoughts a few days ago, but this morning in church Pastor Dan helped me finish my thoughts.  I have also been collecting quotes from all the reading that I do and have included some of those.

I don't feel very courageous.  I am afraid much of the time.  I need to remind myself that people that have shown great courage were also afraid.  They still acted.  Courage requires some kind of action even if I am afraid.  I need to have faith that those actions will overcome the difficult days ahead of me.
I am physically weak, beaten up, and it would be very easy to give up, to sit down, to lie down and not get up.  What is difficult right now for me is walking up the the stairs, standing for any length of time, moving around and breathing deeply.  I am afraid, afraid that I will hurt, afraid that I will get stuck and not be able to get back to my car, my home, my chair.  I am afraid that I will have to get a needle poked into me again.  So many needles!  Please, no more needles!

Today Pastor Dan reminded me in a dramatic way that even though days are difficult, I must show courage and faith. Yesterday he lead the celebration of life for one of the women of our congregation, Ruth Cullings, who had ALS.  Even when her disease progressed to the point that she could not speak any longer, she used an IPad to communicate. She had a program that spoke for her, eventually limited to only using her thumbs to type she didn't give up but kept connecting with others. She continued to live with courage and faith even though days were difficult.

Pastor Dan spoke this morning about Jacob and Caleb, who were two of twelve spies sent out by the Children of Israel to check out the neighboring country,  Their job was  to see if this was a place God intended them to move into and to settle down in.  The story is located in the book of Numbers.
Ten spies came back talking with fear.  There were Giants in the land!  Negatory!  Negatory!  Do Not Proceed!  Danger! Danger Will Robinson!

Jacob and Caleb  showed faith and courage.  They saw the same land that the other ten had seen.  Yet, they came back saying,"Hey!  It's looking really great over there!  Let's move in on faith.  The land is flourishing. Yes, Giants are there, but so is God!

...those who endure are those who are not attached to outcomes.  They don't seek security in plans or accomplishments.  They exchange certainty for curiosity, fear for generosity.  They plunge into the problem, treat their attempts as experiments, and learn as they go.  This kind of insecurity is energizing; people become engaged in figuring out what works instead of needing to be right or worrying about how to avoid failure.  Whenever they discover something that does work, there's  a rush of energy, often accompanied by laughter.-Margaret Wheatley

I have personalized part of what his message said at this point.  I need to turn tomorrow and trust (have faith) in God. This is going to take courage.

Are my best days behind me?  I have so much more for you.-God.  Continue to evolve and develop ideas and things and bring honor to God.  Retirement (illness, adversity, struggles);  It's not about comfort; it's about honoring God.

In the long run, people of every age and in every walk of life,seem to regret not having done things much more than they regret things that they do.-David Gilbert

I need to see my life grow and see others changed by God.  Courage doesn't have to be shown in some gigantic way.  It can be shown in a small gesture- stepping out of my isolation and meeting someone for lunch.  Calling someone I haven't spoken to in a long time, and listening to them, not going on about my own story.  Courage is looking ahead with faith that I will do well.

I need to remember the wonder of God because is gives me direction.  He doesn't care about my perfectionism, but about my availability.  God wants to give me strength.  I will give you strength.-Isaiah 24:19.  I need to be a peacemaker and an encourager, putting heart into people, not tearing it out of them.  I need to have a passion for life, for God, for others.  I need to be around people of faith and be a person of faith.

Thank you Pastor Dan Shinabarger for helping me this morning.

My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me.  I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so.  But I believe the desire to please you does in fact please you.  And I hope I have that desire in all I am doing.  I hope I will never do anything apart from that desire.  And I know that if I do this you will lead meby the right road though I may know nothing about it.  Therefore, I will trust you always, though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death.  I will not fear, for you are ever with me and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.-The Prayer of Thomas Merton.

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