If you’re always happy you’d never get the chance to be brave…” Emerson, aka. “Tiny pants”
There is a woman in our town that takes walks down the road almost every day. She walks a distance and then finds herself on a street corner and dances, lifting her hands, 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 to the right while driving, “Yeah, I guess she is.”
Emerson continued watching the “dancing lady” as we sped on past her.
“I think I’d like to feel like her all the time,” I commented casually 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 true.”
We pulled into the driveway a few minutes later, and he ran off inside, on to the next thing, with no clue 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 children can be brave in ways many adults don’t know how to be. Mostly because I’ve watched my boys do scary things repeatedly, despite the fear they felt.
Like when my middle son was brand new to baseball, 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. He was 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? No. But he did his best.
He walked a little taller after coming off 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. 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. Faith in a God that doesn’t make sense on an intellectual level isn’t all that hard for a child.
It humbles me when I look at things from their perspective.
When I’m upset or anxious, my very first thought is not a chance for bravery or humility. My first thought is preserving my perfect environment — “How do I get rid of this?!”
Instead of chasing down happiness at every turn, I can choose bravery instead.
Sometimes simply being content right where we are is choosing brave. Contentment in those challenging moments isn’t easy, but it’s 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 instead take the opportunities to be brave over being happy all the time.
It sounds a bit like the faith God asks us to have.
To trust this isn’t all there is—the bad, ugly, and all this in-between—there’s so much more. We just have to choose brave in the meantime.
Have faith like a child and choose brave
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 I’ve come to find that wisdom often walks right alongside in these moments to choose brave.
Like out of the mouth of my nine-year-old son on a random Tuesday afternoon.