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The borders of bravery

Pastor Michael Walrond Jr | 5/11/2012, 1:34 p.m.
Pastor Michael Walrond Jr.

In an age of conformity, the courageous among us do not live on the borders of bravery, they transcend the stifling lines and are determined to live boldly in a realm that their imagination has fashioned. Cowardice thus becomes the deteriorating ability to suspend imagination in order to find a resting place in spaces carved out by those who are fearful and uninspired. This is the awkwardness of our age--an age of mixed signals and confounding voices.

On one hand, we hear the call to be the best we can be, but on the other hand, we are challenged to temper our ambitions so that we can fit into prescribed definitions of success. Those who do not conform to cowardice are called rebels, radicals or maladjusted, but these are labels given by persons who dare not approach the borders of bravery. Instead, they maintain a safe distance from the borders, hurling insults in an attempt to hide their fears of what might happen if they approach the borders, for it is nearly impossible to approach the borders of bravery and not feel the compulsion to cross over and live in the light of an unleashed imagination.

Tragically, the paths of acceptance and accomplishment in our culture have been shaped by half-hearted individuals who have been either seduced by their reckless ego or made impotent by their timidity.

I know that there are many who are not aware that their lives are hidden in cowardice. I use to be one of those persons, for it is so easy to order your life by artificial standards, hoping that somehow you would be affirmed by persons who can help chart the course toward your desired future. You live with veiled ambitions, carrying hidden dreams in your heart because you do not want to get out of line nor do you want to be viewed as unsuccessful according to established and accepted paradigms.

When life is lived this way, it is easy to lose one's voice and light, thereby giving way to silence and darkness. However, I am convinced that there will come a point in one's life journey when the borders of bravery will cry out to the courage that lies deep within the soul. The borders are always calling, always wailing in the wind, hoping that the courageous among us would draw near and cross over.

Maybe this is your season to answer the call. Maybe this is your season to harness the power of your God-given imagination and live the life that you thought only existed in your dreams. Remember, you do not get credit for merely living on the border, because seeing the possibilities and never walking in them, is misery.

Transcend the stifling lines and let your imagination be the architect. It may seem risky and challenging, but I implore you to heed the cries of the borders of bravery because the world is waiting for you to wake up. In his classic book, "Crime and Punishment," Fyodor Dostoevsky put it best: "Taking a new step, uttering a new word, is what people fear most."

Be courageous! Be brave!