Posted by: Don Linnen | 31 August 2011

LIfe Themes

The theme for our life last week was fear and doubt. This week the theme is courage.

Last week, my wife continued her fight against breast cancer. She’s winning the fight. It’s not been easy, but it’s been rewarding – and successful. There’s every reason to expect a good outcome.

She caught it early; has a great team of doctors; and is surrounded by a throng of folks supporting her physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. The prayer warriors are legion.

Once the battle was joined against the big C, we adopted a little swagger in the fight. It’s easier to do when you’re winning. 

“What – me worry?” That Alfred E. Neuman rejoinder became our cautiously optimistic answer to challenges.

Call it bravado. Call it hesitant bravery. We acted brave – not always feeling it – and kept doing everything to stack the odds in our favor.

It worked until last week. She sat in a waiting room with fellow patients who had been to the radiation rodeo before. Recurrence is a scary word.

Real life brings academic knowledge down to earth. Valor diminishes with doubt. Fear follows doubt when clear answers to ominous questions are impossible to know. 

This week I attended an early screening of the movie, Courageous. It’s a cop movie – good guys, bad guys, and some in between. The overt examples of bravery were numerous, easy to spot, and really exciting.

Other examples of courage in the movie were far more subtle: persistence, love, self discipline, self examination, and a grounded belief in doing the right thing for the right reason. Not nearly as entertaining, but more meaningful and much more lasting.

Isn’t that what courage really is?

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