Wednesday Wisdom 🙂
Inspiration for this week comes from 2 Timothy 1:7
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love and self-discipline.”
What is courage? How does it tie in with fear? What role do trust and faith play?
I’ve spent significant time over the past couple of weeks thinking about the above questions. Given current circumstances, I doubt that I am alone in this type of mental exercise 🙂 I first starting thinking about it relative to the COVID19 challenge, but it spilled over to farm life as we recently took cattle to grass. Change can bring fear as “the unknown” often exists outside of our comfort zone. During those times, I am most successful when I lean into my faith and am reminded of who God calls me to be – a woman of power, love and self-discipline. This brings me courage.
Cattle are very different than humans (with significantly lessoned abilities for comprehension). However, helping them to overcome fear reinforces some key ideas that also aid me when I struggle.
- New circumstances can be fearful, but repeated positive experiences build the trust that enables courage.
- It doesn’t matter if you have all of the “answers”. What matters is having a heart that is inspired to care with empathy.
- Courage is not the absence of fear, rather it is the ability to move forward in the right way despite being afraid.
In the first few days when cattle are new to our farm, they lack confidence and curiosity. Instead of looking to me as a leader, they tend to shy away in fear. But, as I interact with them each day, trust grows and brings with it a beautiful sense of curiosity. After a few days, a handful of braver animals will approach and begin to look to us for direction. Not long after, curiosity tips the scale and their herd-mates follow suit. Soon, it becomes very easy to gather and check the animals despite the fact that they run on hundreds of acres of grass pasture.
What’s the secret to gaining their trust? Helping them to realize that their lives are better with us, than they are without us 🙂
I believe that the spirit that God gives us cannot fully emerge without the courage that comes from faith. I find that when my faith and trust are weak, then fear inspires timidity. Conversely, when my faith and trust are strong, then I find a source of power – fueled by love – that allows my natural sense of self-discipline to propel me forward. In those moments, I may still have some fear but it no longer has the power to drive my decisions because courage takes over.
We all have uncertainties in our lives. They do not define us, and they do not have to “own us”. God can do that if we let Him. Repeated positive faith building experiences, a heart full of love, and a desire to move forward to make a positive difference provides an equation for courage to thrive. Don’t be afraid to answer the call, life with God is far better than life without Him.
Are you in the front of the herd filled with courage and eager to answer God’s call?
Or, do you linger behind hindered by timidity?