A Pinch of Courage Makes Life More Fun

by | Apr 28, 2014 | Battles, Courage | 6 comments

When I was a child, I rode my bicycle over the flat neighborhoods of Savannah, Georgia. I was Annie Oakley on my faithful horse. My girlfriend and I cycled together to ballet classes that ended at dusk. On the way home, we sped past a house shrouded with hanging moss. We were sure it was haunted. We’d both spotted a ghostlike flicker in the window!

Overcoming childhood imaginary villains was exciting, but facing real ones as an adult is a bother. This week I thought about the characters I like to pull for in books. They show strength in adversity. Ones that crumble over small things get on my nerves. That made me wonder: Would I pull for myself if I were in a book?

Every great story has obstacles the hero or heroine must overcome. The protagonist grows stronger, wiser, and better through the process of facing her giants and overcoming her weaknesses. We readers cheer our champion on. We know things she doesn’t. We want her to make the right choice, not shrink back, and to make us proud.

My recent enemies have shown up as unwanted expenses, concerns, and inconveniences. The leak under our kitchen sink has prompted a home renovation. Renovations bring decisions. It seems every decision has brought another obstacle. In the last couple of months, we’ve also come up against ridiculous government regulations, leaks in our septic field, malfunctioning toilets, our dog’s diagnosis of a rare, debilitating disease, and last, but not least, a maternal colony of bats in our attic!

It only takes a few sentences to list what has taken numerous phone calls and hours of research. So how would my favorite character handle the bogeymen that unsettle me as much as a child’s fertile imagination?

I thought about the kind of character I root for: a can-do type of person who doesn’t complain about the scenes he is thrown into; who digs deep and exhibits the wisdom, patience, and skill necessary for the challenge. That’s the type of person I want to be in life.

So who do I want to be when estimates are double what I’d imagined? When the countertop I like is impractical? When the money I want to put toward improvements must go to repairs or vet bills? I want to be strong, someone who overcomes adversity and gives others courage. I don’t want to be the wimp whining in the corner.

Thinking about this, reminded me to be “strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might” (Ephesians 6:10 NASB). Not surprisingly, I enjoyed my day in spite of discovering the bats. I even found someone to safely remove them before they give birth.

In my favorite stories the protagonist learns to overcome his/her weaknesses. That’s the role I want to play in God’s story. How about you? What role are you playing in your story?

Question: How does courage affect your outlook? Click here to share your thoughts.


Debbie Wilson

Deborah W. Wilson

Mark your calendars. Ladies, my daughter Ginny will be leading a ten week summer Bible study that will begin on Tuesday, June 3rd. They meet from 7 – 9 in the evenings and will use my study, Little Women—Big God.

Email: LighthouseMinistries@mac.com

Photo by: rjones0856

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  1. Keita Ikeda

    Mrs Debbie,

    In my line of work, we deal with many competing factors. One thing that a friend of mine reminded me is that these tensions due to seemingly opposing requirements – whether is blood pressure, heart rate, finances, etc – between what we want, what we have, and what we need, are part of the system. Without these opposing forces, things just don’t work. Imagine an autonomic nervous system that is only sympathetic but no parasympathetic – it is only half the autonomic nervous system, and it wouldn’t work. In other words, if we only had the sympathetic nervous system, our heart rates will go up with stress and never comes back down, or comes down very, very slowly as the proteins expressed are eventually consumed by the receptors or simply re-appropriated as energy and metabolised. The parasympathetic nervous system slows the heart down to regulate in the other direction. So these competing things are the normal. If we always get what we need, then we, in our sinful state, would soon forget that it came from Him (remember the book of exodus?). So the tension, or the top of the hill where the ball (which wants to roll down the hill), is where we ought to be, to keep balance on a minute-by-minute basis to achieve a balance as He wants, which is always a precarious position so that we continue to seek His counsel through His Word, prayer, and other God-fearing people to keep from rolling down the hill and into a ditch…

    • Debbie Wilson

      Keita, What a fascinating perspective that is very true. I’ll remember that when I go look at countertops! Thanks.

  2. Ann Musico

    Oh Debbie – once again you have described yet another character trait I want to exemplify in my life – I am definitely not there yet – but thankfully, closer than I was before. I still find myself reacting to those unwanted surprises rather than responding in faith – even though I KNOW He is always with me and has always worked everything – even the worst “surprises” out for good. I’m working on it!!

    • Debbie Wilson

      Me too, Ann. I can ditto everything you said.

  3. Nina Blevins

    Wow. Debbie, this describes the season of life I find myself, as well. Most of my fear revolves around our lack of financial stability. Home repairs, pet needs, my lack of a job…it’s all there. Sometimes anxiety hits me in waves and I have to sit, breathe deep, and claim the promises of God. He will protect and provide. He will enable and empower. He will always be good. Always faithful. Always trustworthy. Sometimes I have to repeat over and over again, “I will trust You. I will trust You. I will trust You.” This is my word for 2014: Trust. Sometimes I think that’s what God is doing in the midst of it all…increasing our trust in Him and stretching our faith. Thanks for the post. I needed this.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Thank you for sharing, Nina. “Trust” was my word for 2013. This year I’m getting to practice it! Like you, I have to repeatedly renew my mind and turn from stinking thinking.

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