275 – Do or Die

Our moments of greatest bravery come when we face the truth in front of us: that if we act, then we risk failure, but if we don’t act, then we guarantee failure. Immature human nature drives us to negotiate and argue with this truth, thinking to persuade the universe to change the options, telling ourselves, “Maybe if we don’t act, we will find some way to guarantee a lesser life, but life nonetheless.”

Heroes step out and take great risks, in the face of doubts and jeers, not for their own fame, but because someone else is in need. That other person depends on the hero coming through, but so does the hero depend on that other person being there. Both of them work as a kind of team and unless everyone goes all out, risks everything, and gives it their all, everything will fall apart.

You can only take risks as big as the difference you know you can make. You will make a bigger difference the more you value yourself and you will value yourself the more you know how much God values you. The more you recognize how much God values you, the more you can trust Him, the more you can trust that He will work out your circumstances.

Heroic choices can’t be made when safe outcomes are guaranteed. The hero determines to make everything work out for everyone else, whether or not things work out for the hero’s own safety. The hero doesn’t leap blindly, but only when he knows the task is within his skill. Heroes are chosen in the days of danger, but they are made over the long term, in the days of practice and preparation, gaining skill, and learning one’s own limits.

Esther’s story illustrates the heroin’s path: taking action to save others despite her own risk. A year of preparation to become queen, now she had a choice. Her people, Israel, faced extinction and she faced death if she brought a frivolous matter before the king. “If I die, I die,” she said, knowing that the words of her uncle were true—that God may have made her queen, “for such a time as this.”