I was on my run this morning and stopped at one of those park district exercise stations that they put up in the suburbs to make us feel good about where our tax dollars are going.And as I was looking at one of them – not actually doing the exercise, mind you, because I thought it was a little hokey – I read this:
“Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.” -Anais Nin-
Whoa.Never mind the odd context.Because, not to be all judge-y or anything, but it really doesn’t take a whole lot of courage to hold on to a bar and lift your foot an inch off the ground as they were suggesting.
Anyway, I saw beyond that, and fell in love with those words.
And I immediately thought of how each time I have said yes to something totally scary, how big my life felt.One of the most clear, and probably the first, recollections I have of this happening was when I was coming home from a four-day trip to Haiti with Samaritan’s Purse to visit a pastors’ conference on AIDS.I had never in my life done anything like that before.I had never been to a third world country before.I had never purposely walked into, let’s be honest, actual danger before.
So, the trip was behind me, and I was walking, by myself, from the plane to get my luggage.And in that all-alone couple of moments, I said to myself, “I now know I can do anything at all that Christ asks me to do.”I had written goodbye letters to my children in the event of my death, which I thought was about a 50/50 chance of happening.But I went anyway because Christ wanted me to go.He had flung open wide that door of opportunity and then He took my hand and we went to Haiti.
That trip, that moment of decision to say yes in the face of fear, changed my entire life and changed who I was as a person.If courage is fear that keeps walking, that’s what I had gained in that yes.And my life expanded in ways that I never could have imagined or dreamed.
If you’re looking for a little life-expansion, what act of courage can you say yes to today?
If this post helped you, “Moving On as a Christian Single Mom” is for you, found here.