Part of my obedience journey this year is to pray for my single friends. Not because married means arrived or complete. But because I know that they hope to have someone who will see their brave hearts and be brave enough to live brave with them as lover – ally – hero – friend. And because in the wow moments of their rich and beautiful lives they hope to have someone with them to say, like, ‘wow.’
Murray comes home from Sani2C a hero. The boys want to be just like Dad. Cam rides 140 metres without his training wheels, not knowing where he is going and despite the odds blurred against him. He wants a CamelBak like Dad’s so that he can also ride Sani2C. Scott sits down to Sunday lunch – ‘Wait!’ – gets up – comes back wearing one of Murray’s medals – sits down again – ‘Now I’m ready.’
Photo credit: Marc Le Roux
I think how the kind of brave that rides 265km and climbs 3301m above sea level in three days – the kind of brave that is mud and sweat and cleats and chain lube – that kind of brave says one thing:
Commit to the strain of the hills and the rhythm of the flats and the thrill of the downs. Commit to knowing you can’t fall further than the ground. Commit to pedalling, and then some. Just. Commit.
Photo credit: Marc Le Roux
Medal still swinging close to his knees Scott mops the kitchen floor after lunch. Cam sweeps. The floor looks far – far – worse afterwards. It’s all good. They’re mopping and sweeping because they’ve seen their Dad commit. Commit to downsizing on his race registration – ‘large’ to ‘small’ – so that I could get the cool sponsored gear. Commit to saying no to extra training and yes to time with us even though that kind of commitment would cost him pain on the 40km uphill of Sani’s Day 2. Commit to taking the boys for haircuts and breakfast so that I could help manoeuvre a friend’s emergency baby shower. Commit to getting them to glue their build-it-yourself animal models when it would have been quicker, cleaner and less stressful to have glued it all himself. Commit to washing dishes because I have bronchitis and I’m breathing fumes from the nebuliser which is only slightly sexier than expressing breast milk.
They’ve seen him commit to things that don’t win medals.
We lie in the dark and talk about mountain biking and the soup I made for supper and what might possibly be wrong with the world and the church and the men to have left too many beautiful women longing for love. And he says that maybe it’s because it’s easy – even selfish – to be a hero committed to physical courage. But that committing to moral and relational courage day after day is the real freedom fight.
And I hope that our sons will be this kind of hero. I hope they will make it their habit to commit so that one day when they want to win a woman’s heart they won’t waver because of fear or ego or an idea of perfect ladylove but that they will risk having their own hearts broken. I hope they will have the courage to bend their agendas to the cause of Christ. The courage to wash dishes and feet. The courage to embrace – not shrink from – the strength of a woman. And the courage to love that woman – that one, real, flawed, beautiful woman – for life.
Because heroes have the courage to commit.
. . .