My almost eight year old and I were desperately trying to wrangle our seven chickens back into their coop one afternoon. If you’ve ever tried to catch a chicken you understand this is no easy task especially when part of you really doesn’t want to touch them. I was trying to get Noah to block their escape route so I could snatch them up, but at the last minute his courage would falter and he would step back allowing them to run through. After many failed attempts I “explained” my frustration to him. I could tell he was just as frustrated with himself. He shook his head, took a deep breath, and declared “It’s time to be Brave.” And with that we cornered those plucky chickens and got them back in the coop.
I positively loved that moment and look back with feelings of pride and respect for my little man. How did he know that all day I had been preparing to preach my first “sermon” that evening and as the moment came closer and closer, I was feeling more and more terrified. His little prophetic statement of “Time to be Brave” got me thinking. Yes, it was time to be Brave. As if Bravery is something you put on each and every day as you would put on your shoes or contact lenses. “I’ll be right there , just got to put on my Brave…”
It made sense in that moment. I often wait for that brave feeling to wash over me and then I act. Looking back on my “brave moments” I realize that actually no, I’ve never felt brave until I decided to BE brave. Come to think of it Bravery may not be a feeling but an action. “Then David said to his son Solomon, “ ‘Be strong and courageous, and ACT; do not fear nor be dismayed, for the Lord God, my God is with you. He will not fail you nor forsake you until all the work for the service of the house of the LORD is finished.’” 1 Chronicles 28:20 Brave people do stuff! Now that’s a bumper sticker. As I’m writing this of course the movie “Braveheart” comes to mind. Was William Wallace a brave man or what? Or maybe he was just a regular farmer at heart who let his passion get the best of him. How many men and women before or after him have talked the good talk. “ Let’s change something! Let’s do something, let’s be something!” So much talk, so much enthusiasm all necessary indeed but when the rubber meets the road will you show up to the battlefield, survey your enemy and then turn around and go home? Or will you put on Brave, march forth, and defeat your enemy. After all the battle is HIS. In fact, we’ve already won. God’s just looking for brave people to carry out his Kingdom work. Brave people who aren’t afraid to step forth and establish the Kingdom wherever their footsteps take them.
So,Maybe you aren’t a 16th century Scottish Warrior (that would be amazing if you are and I have all sorts of questions about your time travel experience.) The reality is you’re probably just a regular guy or gal living the simple life; was it really true those Scottish Warriors were just average joes who had farms and raised sheep? Did you know you’ve been given a great commission? Did you know you’ve been called to greatness? Throughout our day we are all given moments to put on Brave. Maybe we have to confront someone, maybe we have to pray for someone, maybe we have to love someone. Well, it’s time to be Brave. …cause the last thing we want to be is chicken.