So this past Saturday I took my niece to go see the movie, “We bought a zoo” for our auntie and me day. To be honest I wasn’t all that interested in seeing that movie, but Mad wanted to see it and I wanted to spend time with her, so I said why not (plus it’s a Matt Damon movie and I’ve been a fan of him since “Good Will Hunting)! Turns out, it was actually a pretty great movie!
Towards the end of the movie there is a scene (you’ve probably seen in some of the promotional commercials) where the father is talking to his son and says, “You know, sometimes all you need is twenty seconds of insane courage. Just literally twenty seconds of just embarrassing bravery. And I promise you, something great will come of it.” That quote just resonated with me so much and has actually helped me a lot as I’ve gotten into the swing of this New Year.
As I mentioned in my last post, I am a fan of the New Year’s resolution…and this year I’ve made quite a few of them. But making a resolution and keeping it are two different things….and that is where “20 seconds of insane courage” and “embarrassing bravery” come in.
For example, on Sunday it was gorgeous out…in the 50’s, sunny…totally out of the norm for January 1st in New England. I knew I wanted to get out and enjoy the weather, but I was nervous I might end up “getting out there” alone…even if I mentioned my desire to others...and so I almost just went alone. That’s what I would normally do…go straight to the end result I’m expecting instead of being open to the what if's of life. It’s just easier for me to do that than to get my hopes up and be disappointed or feel rejected. But for “20 seconds” I had courage and put it out there on facebook that I wanted to hike and my sister responded and I ended up having a great time taking her and my two nieces on hike up a local mountain (we even got to enjoy an amazing sunset...as you can see in the above picture)!
Then on Monday I was sitting down to write my first letter of the year (one of my main goals for the year is to be more “others” focused and thus I plan to write 52 people letters this year) and kept having this nagging feeling that I should write this women from church that I don’t even really know. Normally, I would pretty quickly talk myself out of something like this. All these thoughts about how she might respond, or what she might think about me, bubbled to the surface and it would have been so easy to just change my mind and go with someone more “comfortable”. But this wasn’t about me….it was about sending a bit of comfort and encouragement to someone in need…and well for “20 seconds” I found enough courage to place that letter in an envelope and stick it in the mail box.
And then there was the moment I decided to just put my feelings out there in an email to a friend. One of my resolutions for this year is to “confront and communicate before things escalate” (as you can see from the note card I have hanging on my wall) and well communication isn’t always my best skill. You see, normally when I’m hurt or angry or frustrated by someone or something I will bottle it up. It’s 100% easier for me to just take the hit…grin and bear it…silently work to get through whatever the circumstance is as quickly as possible. But what usually ends up happening, is I just get more upset…more hurt…and before I know it I’m willing to cut that person out of my life, making my world just a little bit smaller. It’s such a risk to me to be honest with those kinds of feelings…to tell someone they hurt me and how, trusting that they will actually listen, understand and care. But as I sat at my computer, I realized that even if I put it out there, shared my feelings, and was rejected, the outcome wouldn’t be much different than me just never really talking to them again, so with my “20 seconds” of courage I put it out there…said my peace…and realized being honest is what makes a relationship more real!
Now I know none of this may seem overly spectacular to any of you, but I’m not looking for the spectacular…..I’m looking for abundant life….the kind of life that comes from those “20 seconds” of courage...and the kind of courage that comes from God and when acted upon makes life worth living! And so far this year (all four days of it) have been filled with the abundancy of life!