“Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” – Joshua 1:9
Did you succumb to the temptation to play the Power Ball lottery last week? I did – to the extravagant sum of two dollars, which is one measly ticket that contained not a single winning number. Oh well! But who could resist the chance to win a billion and a half dollars, regardless that odds were like ten g-zillion to one? Okay, so what does such a silly act as wasting a couple of bucks on a lottery ticket have to do with being strong and courageous? Very little actually, except for this one pronouncement from my wife: “The one sure way to lose,” she reminded me, “is to not be in the game.”
If you have not yet read Brené Brown’s brilliant bestselling book, Daring Greatly, you’re missing a great lesson on the importance of putting ourselves out there, taking a risk, allowing ourselves to be vulnerable. “We must walk into the arena, whatever it be,” she says, “a new relationship, an important meeting, our creative process, or a difficult family conversation – with courage and the willingness to engage. Rather than sitting on the sidelines and hurling judgment and advice, we must dare to show up and let ourselves be seen. This is vulnerability. This is daring greatly.” In other words, the one sure way to lose, is to not be in the game.
Following the death of Moses, Joshua was charged with the responsibility of leading the Israelites into the Promised Land. This required guiding the people across the flood-swollen Jordan River and into battle against the fortified cities of Canaan, not an assignment for the fainthearted. Be strong and courageous, God reminded Joshua over and over, who in turn encouraged the Israelites; for in order to gain possession of the Promised Land, sitting on the sidelines was not an option.
The same goes for us in our world today. In order to live abundantly, sitting on the sidelines is not an option. Rather we must dare to show up and let ourselves be seen, allow ourselves to be vulnerable, to dare greatly. This requires that we be strong and courageous; for the one sure way to lose, is to not be in the game.