The Fence

“You must give up to go up,” writes John Maxwell. Leaders must sacrifice, “The higher the level of leadership, the greater the sacrifices.”  Gerald Brooks wrote: “When you become a leader, you lose the right to think about yourself.”  The 57 Psalm reads: “My heart is steadfast, Oh God, my heart is steadfast, I will sing, yes, I will sing praises! Awake my glory.”  My glory being my courage and my honor, those two foundational blocks of everyman’s soul; by them we are all alike and through them connected equally to worship as the children of God.

Our very nature, as Adam attested is not courageous, maybe that’s why the ancient Greeks believed courage was an honorable pursuit; not every man could attain to it, though all should attempt the challenge.  When “The Duke” said: “Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway,” he was talking about sacrificing something, i.e. Our fears.  God told the people through Moses, “You shall fear only the Lord your God; and you shall worship Him, and swear by His name”; so He could later tell the people, “Be Strong and Courageous.”  In Martin Luther Kings final speech he said: “So I am happy tonight…I’m not fearing any man.  Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.” The greater the leadership, the greater the sacrifice.  When God awakens us to act courageously, might it be something that in its purest vein, is worthy of worshiping Him who called us forward to the challenge.  Maybe we should practice being courageous by seeking to be courageous more often?  Aristotle once wrote that the pursuit of Bravery was a noble thing.  So are the desires of our hearts to live like Jesus; but, we will have to saddle up to get there.

“You will never do anything in this world without courage. It is the greatest quality of the mind next to honor.” When Aristotle wrote these words some three hundred plus years before Christ he could not have envisioned the “Cross” or the sacrifice that Jesus gave to honor His Father on Golgotha.  If “honor” is a noun, then it signifies high esteem by its privileged place; if it is a verb, then it is an act regarding great respect. In either case, the principle party giving honor must sacrifice his place or actions to a position lower than the honored one. Lincoln wrote, “All that I am or ever hope to be, I owe to my angel mother.”  Aesop said: “Gratitude is the sign of noble souls.”   Since only God knows who wrote the book of Hebrews, these words awaken the soul even more: “Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses before us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Is there a greater call to practice both courage and honor; if so tell me, if not, may God awake my glory, that I may act courageously and live honorably toward men.

We live in a triune world, past, present, future; you may notice how choices in life tend to come in three’s.   Seldom, is it a simple black and white decision; there is seemingly always the good, the bad and the ugly in finding ones direction.  What will your’s be?  Will Rodgers once said: “There are three kinds of men.  The one that learns by reading.  The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.”  Ain’t it so?

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