Spiritual Courage

October 8, 2010 by  
Filed under Spiritual Space

Leap of Faith

Gee, how do we know whether we have courage or not? Most of us in the ‘civilised’ world will never be put to the extreme test of say, someone threatening our lives or those of our loved ones for drug money or because they like it, or a regime willing to murder us for our spiritual beliefs. Aren’t we lucky?

There are many people in the world however, who live under far more trying circumstances than we do! Perhaps they have to hide and lie and do almost anything just to stay alive. Perhaps their greatest fault was to be born in the wrong era or in the wrong place.

Thinking about this, I made a distinction in my mind about surviving and being courageous. Certainly surviving under appalling circumstances shows a different kind of courage, more like fortitude or perseverance. For these souls there is courage just getting up in the morning.

I guess when I think about courage it is closely aligned with faith and action: faith that God is with us no matter what, re-action or pro-action I don’t think it matters. When faced with the unthinkable, we hope to act in a way that shows courage.

You know the old ‘fight or flight’ syndrome? I always wonder why they didn’t add ‘fright’ to round out the expression; you know rabbit in the headlights? Is there courage in standing to fight a charging lion? Certainly, (though some may call this foolish). Is there courage in fleeing? Probably not, (though some may call this a strategic manoeuvre). What of those who are so afraid that they stand in the face of adversity petrified to act? They are thus swept away by any disaster that befalls them without the chance to have an impact on outcomes.

On our spiritual path, smaller courages may be required on a daily basis. Do we stand up to the school bully who is picking on another? Do we calmly explain to a colleague that we would prefer not to gossip about others? Do we say ‘no’ to our children when we believe their proposed course of action is undesirable? Do we accept with grace and dignity that our partner no longer loves us? Do we stand up for ourselves and others and manifest our values in hundreds of small ways as our lives progress?

If we practice these smaller tests of courage on a daily basis, we may be sufficiently experienced by the time we are ever faced with true adversity. When you think about it, being fearful is not an option. Being fearful indicates that we have insufficient faith to realise that “no doubt the Universe is unfolding as it should” (Desiderata). It shows a lack of understanding about how God works. Dear Lord, give us “Courage to change the things we can” (Serenity Prayer).

Love, peace and wisdom

Photo: Leap of Faith by Nicki Varkevisser

Comments

4 Responses to “Spiritual Courage”
  1. Deb says:

    Anne, this piece of writing is beautiful and so true. I can relate to all of it actually! Thankyou for this beautiful piece.

  2. As always Annie a wonderfully thought-provoking evocative read!

  3. You are so right, now you have me thinking about it Annie. There is a fine line between courage, fear, action and faith. To be true to ourselves, we must be couragous on a daily basis.

    I agree with Deb, this is a beautiful article (as always!) :)

  4. Annie says:

    Hi Deb, Chris and Joanne
    So sorry not to have responded before now – little busy moving offices amongst other things!
    You gals are awesome and I am making an early New Year’s resolution to make time to explore the Calm Space on a more regular basis. I have a feeling I am missing out!
    Love, peace and wisdom as always :)