Thursday, February 19, 2015

Thursday after Ash Wednesday: Fostering Courageous Hearts

Then he said to all, “If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.” - LK 9:22-25

In the beginning of our spiritual journey, Ronald Rolheiser, author of Sacred Fire, shares that we often question our call to discipleship. Mostly, because of our perception of the kind of person that should be called appears different to the ones that actually are. Peter was known to be ‘The Rock.’ However, he lacked courage and was not ready. Rolheiser emphasized that Jesus does not call on the ready, but on the willing.

Courage is never learned overnight. It results from years of practice and patience along with being brave enough to face what life sends us. As we begin this Lenten season, we receive an opportunity to think about what it means to be a follower. It invites us to grow through the hardships of life, accepting what cannot be changed, and struggling through what needs to be changed despite the risk of rejection, doubt, or failure.

In fostering a courageous heart, we are encouraged to trust Him more deeply and having faith that He will use our Lent to do more than we could ever ask or imagine. It enables us to recognize and live with our own unfinishedness, knowing that we are subject to weakness and sometimes failures. Not only are we nurtured by our relationship with Him, but provided with comfort in understanding how He cherishes each of us no matter what happens in our lives.

For me, it is being courageous enough to say ‘no,’ accepting my limitations, and not second guessing myself. Denying myself to be less self-reliant and leaning on Him to make choices that are more fruitful and life giving. It means living out what I already know to be true and allowing myself to be seen in a more fractured light, yet still capable of being loved. This Lenten season will be a little more about release and not getting in the way of who God designed me to be through practicing presence, breathing deeper, and continuously learning to let go. 

Which areas of my life would I like to live out more courageously this Lenten season?

Reflected by Tam Lontok

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