I just read my Uncle John's post on courage, and it got me to thinking (It's worth the read!)
How am I being courageous? Is it courageous to stay where I am, trying to be faithful with what is put in front of me and doing what I can to be ready for the next adventure? Will it come in the guise of "normal, first world problems" that really can be challenging, but are laughable when compared with the struggles of many throughout the world and through history? I don't know if it's funny or sad that I've been struggling with this question at least since high school: what does God have for me? Where does He want me to focus my time, energy, and effort? The options are mind-boggling. Everywhere I look there are opportunities to engage, to help, to serve, to give. One thing I loved about being with my dad in the last two weeks of his life was the sense of peace and certainty that the time brought: in the midst of the sorrow and loss I was where I needed to be, and could fully focus on simply being there. I've had that feeling again when I've gone on work/mission trips with kids, and even to some extent on just regular ol' vacations. There's something so freeing about having the options pared down, and to know that there is nothing other required then simply being present to the folks around me and fully engaging in the opportunity at hand.
I just participated in a week-long class through work that's all about getting to know yourself better. In pursuit of becoming a more effective leader and better support to the people around you, you are asked to look frankly at your own weaknesses and "areas of opportunity" as well as areas you're already strong in. So I look at all that and say, "now what?" Professionally I need to make some decisions about where to go next - do I aim for more formal leadership roles within the organization? Or continue to function primarily as an informal leader, focused on getting the work done and supporting the organization in becoming more efficient and better prepared for a challenging future? Personally, I need to make some decisions as well. Friendships, family relationships, location - all areas in which I face challenges and wonder if I'm on the right track.
I don't know if I have the courage I need for whatever may be ahead. 'Matter of fact, I'm pretty sure I don't. Joseph eventually found the courage needed for the situation. Maybe I will too. But it sure would be nice where exactly to point the bits I do have! Guess I'll just hope they're lined up in the right direction when they're needed.