Faith, Flags and Heroes

When Memorial Day rolls around each year, I must confess that often the first thing I think of is what fun will come of this three-day weekend and how we will celebrate this carefree kick-off to summer.

But, somewhere along the way, I pause to think about the why. Why is a national holiday necessary to remind the living to remember the dead?

Maybe because it is all too easy to forget.

And the parades and ceremonies and the colorful flags, they help to raise up memories of our fallen heroes.

I was inspired by this touching article from a woman reflecting on the lessons she learned about heroism as a child hearing stories about the uncle she never knew. It got me thinking about what it really means to be a hero.

I know there are many definitions of that word, but my mind automatically goes to Hebrews 11 and the Heroes of the Faith listed there. Those of whom the scripture says “the world was not worthy.”

And, of course, Jesus, who sacrificed His life for ours – He is the Ultimate Hero!

Because of Him, we can lift the white flag of surrender and be saved from the tyranny of sin. And when we do, we will be like the saints of old, looking forward to the promise of eternal life.

By faith, carrying the flag of true freedom. Hope held high, waving in the wind.

“Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; His greatness no one can fathom.” Psalm 145:3

Have a blessed weekend!

Where Brave Is Born

FTI Faith WaterfallI’ve never had a brave heart. Maybe that’s why I married someone who does. Someone who reminds me that life is an adventure and it’s okay to take a risk now and then.

And I don’t think it’s because he never gets scared. I just think that instead of running away, which is what I’m prone to do, he runs straight ahead without blinking.

That’s what brave people do. They don’t shrink back from fear. They stare it down and keep moving forward.

Recently, he sent me this quote:

“To conquer fear, you have to feel the fear and take action anyway…You’ve got to get yourself moving. The only way to break the cycle is to face your fear and take action – no matter how small or seemingly insignificant that action might seem. To get over fear, you’ve got to get started.

                                     John Maxwell – Failing Forward

I think there’s something to that. Just the act of moving toward something is empowering. It made me think of that time we visited this gorgeous waterfall that you could actually walk behind. As usual I followed my fearless leader and the two of us experienced something pretty cool.  Literally! The mist coming off the falls was invigorating, to say the least. 🙂

From that vantage point, a rushing river can merge with your rushing adrenaline until you feel like you are diving headfirst over that mountain yourself. It was awe-inspiring!

DSCN0492

You can’t really see it but, towards the end of this short video I captured below, some other people were approaching the entrance to the falls. That’s as far as they got. Two of the ladies appeared too frightened to continue. So they turned back.

Waterfall Clip (For full screen, click double arrows at bottom right of video screen – use ESC button on your keyboard to return to small screen)

Here’s the thing, and I’m just beginning to get this.  Before you start moving, you have to start believing. There has to be a brain shift – a moment when you believe that there is something better waiting ahead.

And when we get there, on the other side of that fear, we start to think that anything is possible. We begin to take baby steps on the stomping grounds of the saints who’ve gone before us.

If we could hear them now, I think they’d be urging us to keep moving forward. Because what lies ahead is so much better. There, faith is formed in the unseen hand of God. And when we let go of fear and take hold of His hand instead, we move closer to that place – the hope of saints – the home of heroes.

That’s where brave is born. And it’s where our life begins.

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
Joshua 1:9