Life is easy-peazy, right?
There’s a popular Celtic prayer that seems to bring a lot of inspiration and comfort to many. It says,
“May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face;
the rains fall soft upon your fields and until we meet again,
may God hold you in the palm of His hand.”
That prayer certainly holds a lot of ideals. Many of us want to believe in an ideal that life should be easy. But let’s face it, for most us life presents real (and frequent) challenges that can be hard to overcome. Some of those challenges are things we can control such as dieting and exercising to lose weight or learning new skills and capabilities. Some of those challenges are things we cannot control like a tornado ravaging our home or being afflicted with cancer or sickness. Often, we find a sweet spot in our lives when all is going well only to find a challenge kicking us in the face when we aren’t expecting it.
No. . . life certainly is not ideal.
So what do we do when the road is NOT rising up to meet us, when the wind is blowing harshly in our face, when the rains are torrential, and when we wonder why God is allowing us to face hardship once again?
The real power in these situations is the ability to have the courage to press on forward anyways. It takes courage to keep on keeping on.
Courage is Key to Overcoming Obstacles
It takes courage to rise up and face life’s challenges, especially when they are over-whelming. Courage allows us to press down on those emotions that well up inside us: Fear, anxiety, depression, negative thinking, or even despair. Those emotions can be crippling.
But it is the power of courage that allows us to overcome those negative emotions and to rise up and step forward in spite of those crippling emotions.
Tails of Courage
Have you heard of Whizz the rescue dog? Whizz was a Newfoundland, a very large breed of dog that has the characteristic of being a water rescue breed. Whizz was posthumously awarded the Order of Merit for saving nine lives in the course of his life. For many, the fear of cold water and of danger would cause us to freeze in situations involving danger. Yet Whizz had the courage to literally leap into action, jumping into frigid waters to aide those in distress.
But having courage isn’t just about facing just your own problems, but also in helping others face theirs.
Take the story about “Dude the therapy dog”. Dude had a cyst that started small but soon got large enough to warrant treatment. It turns out that it was a cancerous cyst. Dude went through treatment. But it wasn’t just facing those scary procedures as a four-legged furball who had little understanding about what was being done to him. During his treatment, Dude helped other human cancer patients find their own courage to keep fighting their own cancer battles. Dude was an inspiration on how to be courageous for himself and on how to help others find their own courage.
The Courage to Continue
Winston Churchill said, “Success is not final, failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts.”
We all face challenges, even this writer.
But I get up in the morning, I take courage and press on anyways. It isn’t always easy to do, but inaction is not an option. No one will wave a magic wand, “presto-magic-o”, and make life perfect. It is up to each of us to reach down within ourselves and to find that spark of courage and power within.
You have courage within you, more than you know. You have enough courage to not only help yourself to face the challenges in front of you, but you also have the courage to give to others who may need a hand pressing on their backs, propelling them forward.
So press on anyways. Believe in yourself, have hope and courage, and put that foot forward! You can overcome your obstacles and find the sunshine and fair winds once again.