If you’re always happy you’d never get the chance to be brave…” Emerson, aka. “Tiny pants”
How to have faith like a child and choose brave
There is a woman in our town that takes walks down the road almost every day. She walks a distance and then finds herself a street corner and dances, lifting her hands up, twirling around and waving at those passing by.
I’m not sure why she does this, everyone has their opinions on the matter. What I do know is that I have three boys that think she’s hilarious. They’ve dubbed her “the dancing lady.”
On a random Tuesday afternoon, my nine-year-old pointed out “the dancing lady” as we drove by.
“Mom, she’s just always happy, isn’t she?”
I glanced over to the right while driving, “Yeah, I guess she is.”
Emerson continued watching the “dancing lady” as we continued on.
“I think I’d like to feel like her all the time,” I commented nonchalantly with a smile in my rearview mirror.
“I wouldn’t want to.” He reflected while watching the world pass by outside his window.
“What do you mean?” I asked, meeting his pale blue eyes in the mirror.
“Well, if you were always happy, you’d never get the chance to be brave.” He stated matter of factly.
I couldn’t help but smile. “Yes… that’s really true.”
We pulled into the driveway a few minutes later and he ran off inside, on to the next thing with no clue as to how profound his words were.
The chance to be brave
I have kept those words close to my heart.
There is wisdom to be found in the words spoken by my nine-year-old on that random Tuesday afternoon.
I believe that children can be brave in ways that many adults don’t know how to be.
Mostly because I’ve watched my boys do scary things time and again, in spite of the fear they felt.
Like the time my middle son was brand new to baseball and his coach called him in to be the pitcher for the first time.
(He is his mama’s son and deals with anxiety as well; *sigh* sorry son.)
He was terrified to pitch but wanted to try.
I watched him walk up to the pitcher’s mound, heart pounding, palms sweaty and nerves on edge. Anxiously glancing my way every once in a while for support.
Everything he was feeling was telling him to run, but he stayed. He pitched.
Was he the best?
But he did his best.
You could see how he walked a little taller after coming off of that pitcher’s mound with a few strikes under his belt.
He wore those strikes— as well as the walks— as a badge of honor.
Because he chose bravery.
Humble like a child…
It’s no wonder that Jesus gave instructions for people to become like a child;
Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 18: 4
Children see things through eyes unpolluted by the world. Faith in a God that doesn’t make sense on an intellectual level isn’t all that hard for a child.
They realize, unlike most adults, that maybe they don’t know it all.
They still live in a world of possibilities and believe in the likelihood of the unseen.
It humbles me when I look at things through their perspective.
When I’m upset or anxious, my very first thought is not a chance for bravery or for humility. My first thought is the preservation of my perfect environment — “How do I get rid of this?!”
Instead of chasing down happy at every turn, I can choose bravery instead.
Sometimes simply being content right where we are is choosing brave. Contentment in those hard moments isn’t easy but it’s so worth it. And we can be assured that something bigger and better is being built from them.
I am still amazed by his comment.
I’m a proud mama knowing he’d rather take the opportunities to be brave over being happy all of the time.
It sounds a bit like the faith God asks us to have.
To trust that this isn’t all there is—the bad, the ugly and all this in-between—there is so much more. We just have to choose brave in the meantime.
The simple faith of a child…
I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to miss my opportunities to be brave.
I realize they can come in the tiniest of moments.
And what I’ve come to find, is that in these moments to choose brave, wisdom often walks right alongside.
Like out of the mouth of my nine-year-old son on a random Tuesday afternoon.