If you stop to think about the amount of tragedies that can happen in life, it’s quite paralyzing.
The thought of failure, of losing a loved one, of all the ways a life can be turned around in a single moment can make you never want to leave the house.
Sometimes when I’m driving down the freeway or on mountain roads, I think about how little separates me from life and death. If I keep my hand still on the steering wheel, I’m alive. If I move it six inches either way, I ram head on into traffic or send my car barreling off a cliff. Six inches of hand movement between life and death—that’s all there is.
And sometimes it’s not six inches. It’s a stranger who had too much to drink. It’s a thief. It’s cells that won’t stop dividing.
With all that could go wrong, and all that does go wrong, and how thin the difference is between life and death, it’s really a miracle that any of us are able to wake up and face the day.
So what’s the solution? Be brave, right?
I don’t think so.
We don’t need to be brave, because bravery is already inside us.
To be alive is to be brave. To breathe is to be courageous.
Every step, every minute we are alive, every time we hop in a car or have a conversation or get out of bed and have breakfast. These are all acts of heroism.
And I think we don’t give ourselves enough credit for this. And maybe we don’t give God enough credit for the grace he gives us for this, either.
It takes serious bravery to face the world, and yet we do it every damn day. And it takes more grace than we can comprehend to be ok with all our shortcomings and all our failures and all the things that are not right in the world.
We don’t need to be brave. We are brave.
Bravery is not just another thing we have to do, another way we fall short, another path we use to try to live up to who we think we should be.
Bravery is existence. It’s in our heartbeat, it’s in our laugh, it’s in our tender fears.
We can’t fail at it.
It’s a grace we are given, without limit, without merit, without expiration.