Tuesday, March 22

Courage begets honor

"‘Forward, the Light Brigade!’/Was there a man dismay’d?/Not tho’ the solider knew/Someone had blunder’d/Theirs not to make reply/Theirs not to reason why/Theirs but to do & die/Into the valley of Death/Rode the six hundred/Cannon to right of them/Cannon to left of them/Volley’d & thunder’d/Storm’d at with shot and shell/Boldly they rode and well/Into the jaws of Death/Into the mouth of Hell/Rode the six hundred."

Alfred, Lord Tennyson wrote this poem to memorialize a suicidal charge of British light cavalry against Russian forces. It is the same war that propelled Florence Nightingale into renown for her battlefield nursing.

It is the poem that comes to mind when I read the devotional for the E.A.C.H. 33:3 preparation campaign.

“If you want favor with both God and man, and a reputation for good judgment and common sense, then trust the Lord completely; don’t ever trust yourself. In everything you do, put God first, and He will direct you and crown your efforts with success.” Proverbs 3:4-6 TLB

In the movie, “The Blind Side”, Michael Oher writes about the charge of the Light Brigade in the final essay of his senior year that drives his grade point average up to the point where he qualifies for a college sports scholarship and then into the fame of the NFL. He writes, “Sometimes it is best to shoot for courage and hope for honor.”

247 of the 637 British soldiers to charge the Russian position were killed or wounded, just over a third of the whole unit lay on the battlefield because of the mistake of someone who was in charge. Courage caused them to spur their steeds onward, honor kept them pushing forward. Honor, in that circumstance, is indeed something you find in the midst of the chaos and it is something that requires the courage to seek it within yourself.

A friend of mine told me that someone had once told her that one should take on the responsibilities of a desired role before actually attaining the title of that role. In the early church, there was a preacher, a teacher; proclaiming and confessing Christ as Lord.

Maybe that is why the Light Brigade and the verse have set off such a deep feeling for me. In all things, it is what you trust in (the men around you, your training, the leaders above you) that drives you to take courage and seek honor.

Even when the leadership tells you that the direction you see God calling you isn't the direction He's calling you. Courage to seek God's vision even if there's those who don't see it. Risking the cannon fire of those who can't dream so large. Taking courage so God can forge honor in the fire of trials.

That is all the success I hope for in the battles for the Kingdom; to be honorable for my King.

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