By Jackie Davis
Niagara Gazette — Each time we begin our day, we walk into the face of life and all of its potential challenges. Thankfully, everything we experience is not necessarily an obstacle to overcome, but when challenges arise — illnesses, accidents, injuries, accusations, injustices, etc. — we are confronted with the decision of how we will respond to them.
Will we respond in denial or fear? Will we avoid the situation altogether? Will we “pass-the-buck”, blame others, or hope that someone else will handle the situation? Will we lash back or attack? Will we seek wise council and advice before responding? Will we pray and seek the guidance of the Almighty? Will we ask others to cover us in prayer? Will we study/research the situation? Will we rise to the occasion? Will we contact our attorney? Will we meet the challenges head on?
The appropriate response will depend on the situation. The level of response will depend on magnitude of the challenge, but any response will require a degree of courage. According to dictionary.com courage is “the quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain, etc., without fear; bravery; the courage of one’s convictions, to act in accordance with one’s beliefs, especially in spite of criticism.” I found a number of inspirational thoughts about courage on values.com and some of them particularly touched my heart:
“Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear.”
— James Neil Hollingworth, pseudonym Ambrose Redmoon, writer
“If you’re trying to achieve, there will be road blocks. I’ve had them; everybody has had them. But obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it.”
— Michael Jordan, professional basketball, retired
“The bravest thing you can do when you are not brave is to profess courage and act accordingly.”
— Corra Harris, author, writer
“Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says I’ll try again tomorrow.”
— Mary Anne Radmacher
Right now, I know a number of people who are facing life’s challenges with courage. I have come to admire their strength and spirit, and they are regularly in my thoughts and prayers. One person in particular is my friend Patti. Recently diagnosed with breast cancer, Patti, has been a source a courage, inspiration, joy and strength to everyone around her — including her mother (battling different type of cancer), and her younger sister, who was motivated to be examined because of Patti. Her sister was diagnosed with the same kind of breast cancer in the opposite breast, thankfully, caught in its early stages.
Despite weekly doses of chemotherapy, Patti custom designed all the T-shirts for our recent church block party, created cute inspirational magnets to be distributed to the party guests, helped out at the actual event, and has shown more concern for her mother and sister (who is just beginning cancer treatments) than she has shown for herself.
Despite weeks of cancer treatments, Patti looks amazing, radiates serenity and joy, and blesses everyone around her. She is a living example of facing life’s challenges with God given courage. Let her life, and others like her, inspire you to do the same.Jackie Davis is an inspirational vocalist, musician and speaker with more than 20 years of television broadcast experience. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.