I’ve been thinking a lot about courage recently. Is it one act? Is it a mindset? Does it have to be a big, important thing to be courageous? Do small things count? Does someone have to notice it? What if it’s a small thing, something no one sees but you? Is that still courage?
I decided to Google it (since that’s what you do when it’s 2017 and you have a question). Some of the definitions that popped up were really interesting.
“the ability to do something that frightens one”
“strength in the face of pain or grief”
“courage, bravery, valor, bravado refer to qualities of spirit and conduct”
“mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty”
So after my extensive research of skimming the top web hits, I decided that the answer is yes. Yes, courage is one act. It is also a mindset. It is big and important, and small and quiet. Courage can be noticed or unnoticed, big or small, sometimes or all the time.
Courage is hiking up Enchanted Rock when you’re afraid of heights.
Courage is sitting with the girl on the bus that’s mean to you and trying to be friends.
Courage is going to work each day to provide for your family even when you don’t like your job.
Courage is changing your path when you don’t know the way.
Courage is playing with your kids even though you’re torn apart by grief.
Courage is getting out of bed and facing the day when you’re battling depression.
Courage is getting back on the horse that just bucked you off.
Courage is applying for that job you don’t think you’re qualified for.
Courage is submitting to your spouse even when you think you’re right.
Courage is talking about your faith to people who don’t care to hear it.
Courage is writing a poem, singing a song, drawing a picture, playing an instrument, and waiting for the criticism.
Courage is playing with the dog even though last time she knocked you over.
Courage is sharing your private thoughts with another person.
Courage is asking for forgiveness.
Courage is fighting a battle you don’t think you’ll win.
Courage is waiting for the cancer screen results.
Courage is letting your baby get on the school bus, drive off with a new license or enter that dorm without you.
I think courage is a choice. It’s one we make over and over each day in hundreds of ways. Sometimes we choose to do the hard thing, the scary thing, the new thing. Sometimes we choose to be vulnerable. Sometimes we choose to stand firm.
And sometimes we don’t. But that’s ok, too, because we get to try again tomorrow.
Sandra Samoska is a writer with a love for Jesus and a love for family. When she's not chasing around her four kids and doing all the things, you can find her writing about the ways God shows up in our every day lives.