Sunday, February 6, 2011

On Being Strong and Courageous

When I was just like 8 years old, I really hate to walk on that street adjacent to our house at night. It is because that street is so dark and I am afraid, not only of ghost, but that of a half insane man. That street is his favourite place at night and he is always scaring me to death. He will either pretend to be a ghost or a crazy old man as if he will devour you. We are just like cat and mouse everytime I passed on that street and I am very afraid of that. 

I've been very afraid for my entire childhood years, and when our church had invited me to attend a Vacation Bible School on a summer, I enrolled myself because the theme is all about being Strong and being Courageous. At first I thought it is about training Taekwondo or Karate for self defence, so I was very excited, at last I can now wrestle that crazy old man. But I was a little bit disappointed because it was just actually about being brave spiritually. Every morning we kept on singing that song “Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid”, with all the choreography and action that resembles to that of "Pearly Shell". I don't know how can a Pearly Shell move could make me strong and brave. Nevertheless, I still kept on attending for the whole week for the hope that it could give me a pint of courage.

At the end of the week, I learned something better than Karate and Taekwondo. It dawned on me that Courage is the test of character. If you are afraid of something, it is up to you on how you are going to face it. You can either face it upfront or hide from it for the rest of your life. I reckon confronting that crazy old man to stop bullying me, but it doesn't happen anymore.
When I started to become independent in life, I realized that being courageous is not limited to being brave in facing your fear of a crazy man or a dark night or whatever creepy creature, it is all about facing life itself. The thought of not knowing what future is waiting ahead for you is really creepy. Good thing God has enabled me a very strong and a very courageous heart, modesty aside.

But last night seems to be a different story. I was just like “God, I’m tired”. I’m not being emo, it’s just like a moment wherein I am really tired of life. Then within a 5 minutes silence, God has impressed to me as if he is telling me “I did not put you here on earth to be lame, you have a purpose here and you must be strong enough to justify it!”. Sometimes, a 5 minutes silence listening to God is more powerful than an hour of prayers full of rantings, requests and whatever.

Look, I am an optimistic person. I am always looking at the positive side of every situation because I know there is a reason, but I asked God how I can stay strong and courageous in life, and he urge me to attend the church on Sunday.

I eagerly listened to his message on that Sunday afternoon and after hearing that message, I feel like, whew, refreshed and rejuvenated. If you want to become strong and courageous in life, take note of these four tips that I learned from God:

1.      1. Concentrate  your mind on God

If you feel like giving up, remember that God has promised that He will never leave us nor forsake us. We have a living God and if you are very afraid of life, He is always there to rescue us.

2.      2. Confront your fear

When I was challenged for a wall climbing, I hesitated at first. I am not sure if I could stand the height of the wall, but if I will not try, I will remain to be clueless if I can really make it or not for the rest of my life. I confronted my fear because God said you have to be strong and courageous. Then after climbing the wall, I just sighed and said, “sisiw”. Here is the video of me climbing the wall.

Climbing that wall is just like facing the challenges in life. You may back out or try it and face your fear. In the end, whether you will reach the top or not, you can just simply say “That’s it?”

3.      3. Censor your inputs

Prince Dustan of Persia said, “A good King considers advice for counsel, but always listen to his heart”.  Everyday of our life, we hear people ranting and giving unsolicited advices, you are responsible for filtering that out. 

I happened to read my forecast during the Chinese New Year and it is telling me that I am not lucky for this year. Then I saw these stalls offering amulets as “pangontra” and for luck. They offered me this stone, and that bracelet and everything, then I was just like, “I will not buy any of it, I don’t want to be lucky at all, I just want to be blessed”.

Being brave means standing on your own decision.Do not rely on what other people are saying. It is important that we will let positive thoughts in and negatives thought out. These negativities will take away all the strength in us, so beware.

4.      4. Cultivate a courageous faith

If you want to be really really really brave, then keep that faith in you. Being Courageous means being faithful. Worrying and hiding from fears could not take you anywhere. If you want to receive the blessings of the Lord, be faithful and be courageous.

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