“Of good courage.” After reading this phrase over and over again during my morning scriptures or in church, I began to wonder what that usage meant. Good courage versus bad courage? Interchangeable with “good cheer”? I had to know and understand, what exactly I was getting myself into before I decided to write about having such attributes. I decided to ask a friend who knows a great deal about bible scripture but has enough discernment to help me apply what I learn. He taught bible study once upon a time but mostly will proselytize from a bar stool. So he says, “stop reading the KJV (King James Version) and read NIV (New International Version), its making you over think, it just means, ‘be encouraged’ “.
For those not in the know, KJV is like reading Shakespeare through religious literature and the NIV is like reading plain old American English. Knowing that I sometimes lack focus and have a tendency to let life’s distractions push my objectives aside, would normally have ended this blog post right here. But courage and cheer continued to be a constant theme in almost everything I read and “forcing” me to get this one out or just let the thoughts rattle around unreleased and surface as one of my epiphanies. The whole point is that we all need some encouragement and good cheer every now and then.
Even as I resisted the message coming at me in various forms, I came to a realization about why I needed to write this post and that is to spread “good courage and good cheer”. Sounds easy right? Walk around with a Christ-like enthusiasm about faith in what God can do if we can just ignore life’s trials and be encouraged and cheerful. That’s not easy. At all.
But, building encouragement in others must start with yourself. It is as essential as breathing. One day I was on a flight and for a change of pace, listened to the airline attendant giving instruction on what to do in an emergency. After all of the hand gestures and such, I realized that the advice on giving the life saving oxygen mask to yourself in the pressurized cabin is not just applicable to Saving your life but critical in Living your life. The only way to encourage and cheer others is to encourage yourself.
So, the next time life’s trials feel like the plane is starting to fail mechanically, hit air pockets and the pilots have fallen asleep,grab the oxygen mask for yourself! And then help the person next to you.