COURAGE + FORTITUDE = CHARACTER
‘GET DOWN AND GET UP’
Saint Augustine once said: ‘Pray as though everything depends on God. Work as though everything depends on you.’
Or – ‘get down and pray like it all depends on God and get up and go like it all depends on you!
Character is the substance of both worlds, the inner and the outer, the balance of the narrow path.
When Jesus said it’s a narrow path we walk, I kinda see this narrow path like a narrow beam that we walk across and on either side we can fall into the wrong thinking – too much of our outer armour, too much of our own ‘get up and go’ and work, too much of our head banging the walls of Jericho to no avail on one side, but then on the other side we can slip into the inner world of just waiting and praying on God and never feeling right about ‘stuff’...Living in a spiritual bubble.
There comes a time in our lives as Paul said when we no longer eat the soft food, we put on our big boy pants and we do the work and grow up. But we do the work on the inside as well. There's no point in working 20 hours a day if you're doing it in your own strength, but there’s no point in praying 20 hours a day just waiting on God- God's waiting on you.
This is a daily balancing act between the inner and outer man. How many times do we hit that wall and then hours or days later the light bulb goes off and we suddenly realise, ‘Gee maybe I should pray about this?’ Or we spend hours and days praying and yet we are still haven’t taken a step out of the boat only to realise God was out there in the depths waiting for us to get up and give it a go.
So it all leads to us TRUSTING God – Trusting God that sometimes it’s 'get up and go' and grind through the hard yards with no sign of things changing’ Then other times it's trusting God since ‘all you can do is get down and pray’ We can only change this character through time and intimacy with God and ultimately finding that ‘sweet spot’ of balancing inner COURAGE and outer FORTITUDE held up by TRUST - this is CHARACTER.