Are You Courageous?
In the latest Christian film “Courageous” I watched my life story play out. If you’re unfamiliar with the film it’s about four men with the calling to serve and protect. As law enforcement officers they faced danger every day. Yet when tragedy struck close to home, these fathers were left wrestling with their hopes, fears, and ultimately their faith. From this struggle came a decision that changed all of their lives.
Being a tough Norski I had no problem fighting back the tears; however, I was overwhelmed with the story line and felt at times like I was playing parts of the movie in my mind’s eye. The movie is all about family life, difficult relationships, pain and loss. It reminded me of the loss of my sister Deb and the pain still associated with it.
My sister passed away almost two years ago from a painful throat cancer that caused convulsions and zapped her of her strength and energy over several months. Each phone call I received from my brother-in-law and my brother became less and less hopeful. I knew what was coming. The end of a sibling’s life is not easy to deal with. As I watched the movie a haunting question played over in my mind, “Was I a good brother?” I knew I was a caring brother but did I listen to my sister? In all honesty, I have to answer the question with a regretful “no”. My sister and I were so opposite in our personalities and the way we were raised that over the years we distanced ourselves from each other. How did that happen you may ask?
My sister was always fighting our parents, my older brothers and friends that stopped by the house. She seemed to be on a mission and that mission was to disrupt the peace we had in the house. I never understood why she seemed to enjoy causing general mayhem and pain. Our family was always trying to figure her out!
The main character in “Courageous” had the desire to do the right thing by being the provider, stable and a good man. I have to give him credit – he made a difference in the lives of many people at home and at work. I hope people can say the same thing about me. I know I can’t go back and make amends with my sister Deb but I can make sure that I ask those I have wounded to forgive me. I also want to work on repairing any damage I may have caused.
Now as I think about my daughter I know she has hurts that no doubt were caused by me. I plan to ask for her forgiveness and will begin working toward healing the pain I have caused. How do I go about this? I first have to look back and figure out where I caused her the most pain when she was growing up. At times I wasn’t there for her when she needed me. I remember her asking me to do some things with her but I declined because I was either too busy or too tired. Poor excuses for sure! I have a feeling the offenses I remember will be ones she never thought of, and the pain that I caused her will be ones that I never gave a thought to. That is what is called discovery. You get that by sitting down and talking face-to-face. It’s not always easy but probably the best way to begin the healing process.
“Courageous” challenged to be a better man, a better listener and to hold dear all relationships, big and small. We get one shot while here on earth and we need to make the best of it. When we are asked for help, let’s help those in need. When we’re asked to spend time with a friend or loved one, let’s find the time!
I highly recommend you take time to see the movie “Courageous.” It’s a great family film that will change the way you think about your parents, children, brothers and sisters.