Are you a coward? For much of my life, I’ve been one — at least a large part of the time. I’ve drifted along avoiding things that scared me, acting as though I could somehow cheat my fears without having to face them. I’m at the point in life where I can’t do that anymore.
I can either face the fears and become who I’m supposed to be or I can go back to hiding in cowardice. Now that I understand the truth about what I’ve done, though, I don’t think I can put it back into a box and hide it on a shelf. I have to confront the fears — and become the person God made me to be.
I’ve been thinking a lot about this issue since the first of the year. Something happened that made me ask myself whether I was going to continue being less than my best or if I intended to make the changes necessary to be who I wanted to be. If I’d realized all the implications of that when I started thinking about it, I might have run. But I didn’t. And once I let myself go down that road, I didn’t have any choice but to follow some trails to their logical conclusion.
Over the past few years, I’ve had to face the truth that I’ve sabotaged many things in my life. There have been times when I’ve stood on the brink of success and happiness, but I turned away because I was afraid. I had to come to an understanding of why I’d done that to myself. It wasn’t pleasant. It wasn’t easy to confront. But I think I’m a better man for having done it.
We mostly talk here about the future of society and the current insane political system, so this might not seem related, but I think it is. We’re facing some potentially scary times. People who are cowards are going to have trouble dealing with those times. Their personal lives are going to be wrecks and they’re not going to be able to stand up and do what’s right when the time comes that will require great courage.
Whether you choose to stay where you’re currently living or to move on to somewhere you might be able to build a new life for your family, times might be very hard. If you’ve been a typical, soft American consumer, you might not be ready for that. You might have even been like me — drifting along without fulfilling your potential or your dreams or even a calling. If so, this is a really good time to find some courage and put the cowardice aside. Now that my eyes are open to what I’d been doing to myself, I don’t have any other choice.
I might never become everything I want to become. I might never get all of my needs fulfilled. I might go to my grave with secret unfulfilled loves or needs. I might never feel that I can achieve all the things I missed out on by being a coward for this long. Maybe. But from now on, if I fail to have my needs and goals met, it won’t be because I didn’t go after them. It won’t be because I was a coward.
I’m angling for a “courage medal,” but I haven’t earned it yet. I just know I can’t live with myself anymore if I act like a coward.