Last night I lost my son Courage. He eventually was found and I will share the story shortly but I want you to see a powerful lesson from losing Courage that can “En-Courage” you. When we pay attention to our life experiences we find that God is eager to reveal Truth to us in everything. And I mean everything.
I am usually awakened in the morning to process what God is saying because the mornings are often when I am most still and able to listen before the hustle of the day has a chance to distract. Coffee and quality quiet time is often the perfect ingredients to hear God and process all that Life has to teach you.
God has given me a well-instructed tongue, to know the word that sustains the weary. He wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being instructed. -Isaiah 50:4
So last night Courage was playing outside after my wife left for work and I was making supper. He will usually take his bike and ride around the block multiple times. Some time had passed where he was not home yet and the usual 6:00 siren never sounded, which is usually his que to return. I eventually went looking for him in the car, but I could not find him anywhere. My thoughts were hoping he was just playing with other kids at a house but he has never really done that in our area and we told him to let us know first if he is ever invited to play at another house.
But the time got later and later and so I called 911 thinking I better get some more help in case something major happened.
The deputy came over and got some info about Courage and we both drove separately around town to look for him and after more time passed with no sign I started to get uneasy. I would pray but I also started to think the worst and kept trying to stay away from those thoughts of fear.
Because that’s what happens when you lose Courage. You start to live in fear.
It started to get dark and I continued wrestling with fearful thoughts because this has never happened before. Toward the end I even started to breakdown as my continued prayers for his safety stumbled desperately out of my heart. And then 2 hours later from when Courage went missing…
I went to the window and saw dimly through the dark glass my son’s helmet as he was rolling up on his bike. I met him outside and asked where he was as the questions continued to build up in my head. Questions like: Where were you? Are you ok? Were you playing with someone? Did they do anything crazy to you? It seemed like I wanted to ask thousands questions at once but I remained calm to assess the situation. I now know what a worried mother feels like even though the kid is like,
“No need to worry mom.”
I called the deputy and he came in as I questioned Courage to find out that he had followed some kids on their bikes to their house to play. He had lost track of time until the mother told her son to take Courage home because it was dark. (Love that mom’s wisdom). The young deputy gave Courage a sticker and a dog tag and told him to listen to his dad. We thanked him and then immediately I packed the kids up to go meet the people whose house Courage was at.
Courage showed me the house and it was a family who had recently moved to the area. I met the mother of the kids and we had a nice talk about kids tendencies to lose track of time, play, etc and we exchanged numbers in case Courage wanted to play there again. It was reassuring to know this family didn’t seem strange or unsafe. I had a good talk with Courage again about the importance of letting us know where he is and to ALWAYS come to us before ever going with others.
Some of you have already started picking up on even more wisdom in this story but again:
When we lose Courage all kinds of fearful thoughts can take over.
Some people reading this are still so concerned with the what if’s of this story that you are missing the point, but there is some wisdom to your worry isn’t there. Just remember to see things from all sides because more often than not, your worry is unnecessary. Jesus said to not let your heart be troubled even though you will have troubles in this world and there is a very good reason he said that even though our reasoning may often conflict with His if we do not learn to surrender.
Speaking of Jesus.
My story reminds me of when Jesus’ parents lost him. They assumed he was in their company and as a certain amount of time passed they realized they should go looking for Jesus back in Jerusalem where they were last with him at a recent festival. They eventually found Jesus who was surprised they were looking for him. Courage was the same way.
“Whats the big deal?”, kids think. “I was just living life and being present.” “I was going about my business unconcerned with the things you are concerned with and concerned with the things you should be concerned about.”
Because often without Courage we are not actually present are we? We are worrying about other things. Maybe its our relationships or job or sports team or kids or all the bad news the media blasts that blind us to our present environment or the you name it.
Maybe what we name should be given new categories so we stop living by the what if’s and worries that cloud our thinking. Or maybe we should stop categorizing period so our mind stops ruling our heart, which causes the heart to be troubled. Or maybe you are getting wisdom beyond what I can even say right now.
So let’s end with this.
Be present because the longer you lose Courage the more fear and crazy thoughts take up residence within you.
Have Courage because it is freely given and it is the only way to live fearlessly in a complex world.
Having these things will remind you that no matter how much time passes there is a timeless Love that is stronger than death, larger than life and always inviting you to live beyond your wildest dreams AND fears, while being fully present and with you wherever you go.
Think about this more when you get some quality quiet time and maybe some coffee or else you may be too concerned with other things to fully take in these words.
– Preston Hall