Greetings dear friends & welcome to my world again this week. Following on again from my comments the last few weeks, I have been reflecting over the last few weeks on my soul & this week, my single most consistent problem often has been one of courage. Being a coward comes quite naturally to me. I do not like to fight. Historically, I did not like rejection, although this is changing. I am definitely not a fan of pain. All of these are essential qualities of a coward.
Seriously, as I look in the rear-view mirror at more than forty seven of working, one of my regrets has to do with this issue of courage. My fear of people not liking me, my fear of criticism, & my fear of the “old guard” often kept me from making courageous leadership decisions. I could always justify my inaction in the name of “not going too fast” or “bringing people along” or “keeping unity,” but the truth is, sometimes it was lack of courage. My courage often seemed to stumble over my propensity for people pleasing.
Courage is not an issue of wiring, but of willingness. It is not an issue of DNA, but of heart. I have always found comfort & hope in a definition from Ambrose Redmoon: “Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment something else is more important than fear.”
In recent years my willingness to be courageous in spite of my fears has been tested. And, while I’m not the poster child for courage, I have found in some difficult situations I have not run. I have had the hard conversations. My people pleasing did not win the day.
As Martin Luther King Jr. began to receive threatening phone calls & letters, fear began to paralyze him. He had a defining moment one night with just him & God.
“It seemed as though I heard… an inner voice, saying ‘Stand up for righteousness, stand up for truth. God will be at your side forever.’ Almost at once my fears began to pass from me. . . . The outer situation remained the same, but God had given me inner calm.
Three nights later, our home was bombed. Strangely enough, I accepted the word of the bombing calmly. My recent experience had given me new strength & trust. I know now we can be given the interior resources to face the storms… of life,” he said.
I am learning some key principles to help me in my quest to be courageous. In the last few years, I have been disciplining myself to ask, “What is the right thing to do?” When faced with a situation where I am tempted to do what is politically expedient, I am forcing myself to wrestle with this question. And most of the time I have a clear sense about what is right. Following through is not easy & there have been plenty of times I have wimped out.
Courage is like guardrails on a highway. You may not know where the road will twist & turn, but courage will keep you out of the ditches & positions of compromise or political reasons.
By separating decision making from problem solving, I do not let the problems cloud my ability to make the best decision. Once the best & right decision has been made, then we can dig in & start to problem solve. 
When I have done what I believed to be right & acted with courage, typically, most of the time, the right conclusions arrive. This does not mean everything will go smoothly just because I do what is right & live with courage. There will be times where we need to prepare to go through dark & lonely days.
So my dear friends, ‘Be on guard. Stand true to what you believe. Be courageous. Be strong’.
I hope my comments each week are helpful dear readers; & again, provide just an opinion, from my world. Thank you for taking the time to be with me, I hope my journey may encourage you also. This is Kenn Butler in Paradise, Nelson. With my best wishes for another week… I look forward to being with you all again soon.
 Inspired by Lance Witt, the author of the book Replenish, which is dedicated to helping leaders live & lead from a healthy soul.