To choose and live with courage

I've had occasion to reconsider my decision to leave my pastoral position in Oregon and remain in Michigan for PhD studies. Often I've wondered if I've made the wrong decision. If I had remained in the original path and gone back to Oregon...

...I would be in Oregon right now. Back home at last!

...I would be moving into a bigger house, not into my in-laws' basement.

...I would be buying that new couch I've wanted for the last 6 years.

...I would finally be pastoring in a local church-- legitimized as a pastor.

I try to push thoughts like that away, reasoning that I've already decided: pastoring in Oregon is not my reality right now, and

the Land of What Ifs is not a very magical place to live.

But what gives me the most courage lately to embrace this new (financially challenging and professionally uncertain) reality is knowing that courage is needed.

I made a difficult decision, but I made one and now it's mine.

And I can be proud of the fact that in just about every way this is the more difficult path.

There is a reason that the road less travelled has less foot traffic: it's harder to walk there.

Somehow this encourages me, somehow it calls upon the courageous part of me to stand up and to remain standing with resolve. I want to spend my life on hard things; I want to be heroic.

There are much greater heroes in the world than I will ever be, and giving up security to get a doctorate is not among the most self-sacrificing or dangerous acts of history. But it takes a long courage and I believe that doing a brave thing is commendable, and that it is in every way superior to doing no thing. Therefore

to make a courageous decision is in every way superior to making no decision

.

In the end, I may not succeed in this small endeavor of mine, but

if I choose and act courageously have I not triumphed in the world?

 She looks brave to me.

She looks brave to me.