I am a member of a peer learning group. Our method of learning is to read a book about every six weeks and discuss it. Most of the books are non-fiction. We read widely from theology, science, the arts, history, leadership. Some titles are best sellers; others are poor sellers.
Simply stated, every few weeks I set aside two hours for lunch and conversation with four friends. Thought partners.
Today we discussed David and Goliath, by Malcolm Gladwell. Our conversation was about courage. What does it look like? Who has it? Have we ever exhibited it? Where have we seen it?
Most of us associate courage with physical bravery, the stuff of soldiers, public safety officers, and private citizens who rush into dangerous situations without thought for their personal safety. People who dive into the surf to pull out a struggling swimmer, who step in to break up a fight, or who stand between her students and a man bent on harming them—that’s courage.
But we agreed there is such a thing as moral courage. The bravery to speak one’s convictions before a hostile audience, to stand up for another person falsely accused or badly mistreated, to keep at a task one knows is right even when it requires personal sacrifice and no offer of reward.
My meager contribution to the conversation was to remark on the kind of courage I am privileged to witness in the lives of the people I encounter in the conduct of my ministry at River Road Church. I see people blindsided by a lousy diagnosis, but who rise up to fight it, people who struggle day-by-day with disheartening disadvantages, people who persevere in relationships from which they receive no reciprocal affirmation, people who work at jobs that no longer satisfy, but take hours longer to complete.
What I see every day is courage writ large. To you I owe gratitude for the privilege of reading courage in your lives. It is eloquent.
Where do you see courage?