The World Needs Your Courage…

One of the first “epic” movies I ever remember seeing as a kid was Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. I was too young to criticize it for having the main protagonist be the only one without a British accent, or for Kevin Costner’s overall bad acting … I just remember it being one of two movies that my dad took me to as a kid … that and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.

Over the last week for some reason the scene has been in my mind at the beginning of the movie in the prison in Jerusalem where Robin places his hand on the chopping block in place of another imprisoned Englishman … “English courage,” he says. Just before they chop of his hand, he yanks the rope the prison guard is holding and the swordsman chops off the other guys hand instead, and Locksley leads a daring escape.

English courage.

I’m not making an ethnocentric statement here. “English courage” has led to some really dumb things over the course of history … its led to a lot of bloody wars … to a lot of colonization, which as history will attest, always ends in violence towards natives. It caused the Crusades… the darkest hour of Christianity.

There is definitely a dark side to courage. Men often courageously move towards destruction…of self/others. But then there’s a side to courage that reflects and awakens something in us that makes us fundamentally human.

There is a courage that willingly sacrifices for others… that puts oneself in the line of fire for the sake of others … that charges into darkness in order to pierce it with the light. When I see that kind of self-sacrificial courage it has a tendency to clarify the truest part of me, and I think of all of us: the part that desires above all else to live a life that matters… to stand for something meaningful.

Its William Wallace on the scaffold shouting “Freedom” as his bowels are removed…using his last breath to champion the cause he dies for.

Its Major Heyward offering himself to be burned at the stake in front of the Mohawks in Cora’s place in the Last of the Mohicans.

Its Leonidas in 300, refusing to kneel before King Xerxes and mocking him to his face…”today it will be known that few stood against many.”

I’d venture to say that the number one thing that awakens people … ignites movements … catalyzes change, transformation, and metamorphosis is not “leadership” or “organization” or “planning” or “administration” or “strategy” or “programs” or “novelty” or “relevance” or “excellence” ……….

…its courage…

…men don’t follow titles…they follow courage…and the greatest need in our world and culture is not more intelligent leaders, or more capable leaders or more disciplined leaders or more focused leaders.

What our world needs is more courageous leaders.

Those are the ones that we all want to follow…leaders who self-sacrificially risk in order to pierce darkness with light. My hope is that there is someone reading this who has an idea about what they want to do or be with their life but no one has given permission to them to do it, and have maybe even been met with constant opposition by people they respect who keep telling them “it’ll never work,” or “you’re not ready.” I want you know that the world needs your courage… the world needs your idea…

…the business you want to start…
…the girl you want to ask out…
…the conversation you’ve been meaning to have with your dad…
…the book you want to write…
…the product you want to design…
…the race you want to run…
…the person you want to invite to church…
…the forgiveness you want to give but never have…
…the job you want to pursue…
…the job you want to quit…
…the dream that wakes you up in the middle of the night…

Risk. I’ll be there to follow you and so will a lot of other people.

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3 thoughts on “The World Needs Your Courage…

  1. such a great piece here…you are so right about the necessity of courageous leaders. Those who have risen up about their fears and doubts to lead in a pwerful and positive way are indeed memorable. To cast a vision and abandon every obstacle holding you back requires a risky out of the ordinary faith. God is calling us to that but sadly few answer as we let fear control our lives. Get out of your comfort zone…live outside of the box…take risk…people are waiting.

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