The Struggle to Risk

Let me just say up front, that this is not a lovely place to live.  Life is hard here.  And not just for me.  For everyone I know, every day is a struggle.  To work.  To eat.  To live.  There is a near constant struggle to remember – remember what matters, remember that it’s hard the work we are engaged in, and remember that it will only be in time, with endurance, that the results will be here. 
Earlier this week, on one of “those” days of struggle, my husband sent me the following quote from Neil Cole’s book entitled “Ordinary Hero”.  He starts with a discussion from the Lord of the Rings [I feel I must interject to say that I have never seen the films – strange but true! - but that doesn’t mean I can’t benefit from their contents].

“ … Sam says, “It’s like the great stories, Mr. Frodo, the ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger they were. And sometimes you didn’t want to know the end, because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end it’s only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines, it will shine out the clearer. Those were the stories that stayed with you, that meant something. Even if you were too small to understand why. But I think Mr. Frodo, I do understand. I know now. Folks in those stories had lots of chances of turning back, only they didn’t. They kept going because they were holding on to something… and it’s worth fighting for.”

Cole goes on to say that “Yes, there is conflict. Yes, there is evil that wants only to destroy you. Yes, there will be pain and loss. But the struggle is worth it. Any great story has conflict; this is what makes the story worth telling…The conflict makes the struggle compelling.  If we can stick together and pull each other through, much like Sam and Frodo, I believe we can defeat the enemy and win this war. There will be great stories to tell our children’s children. These are the days when grocers, high school kids, nurses, and simple gardeners, like Sam, [and like me] overcome incredible evil to bring change and hope back to humanity. This is what you were born to be: a hero. You were created for good works that have been foreordained by God to destroy evil strongholds and set captives free. Do not settle for rusting in the harbor over the decades. Set sail on the oceans of risk, and let God lead you to stories that are worthy of being told.” (p11)

Training in Lubumbashi with MANI
So there it is.  What story worth telling to my kids and my grandkids am I willing to risk myself for?  I know pertinently that I am no super hero.  I am but one too ordinary woman who lives with struggle every day. Struggle to see God's mission passion spread like wildfire here in the Congo.  And struggle to choose every day to not turn back.  


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