Courage In The Face Of Fear

Today is my friend Dewayne’s birthday, so I decided to share this blog about his journey today. Happy birthday Dewayne.

It was a weekend in February 2011 when I along with fifteen other men spent three days together for a men’s weekend in the country.  This had been a long time dream of mine, and may have been one of the best times I’ve ever spent with a group of men, but I think the greatest thing about this weekend was the transformation I saw in my friend Dewayne Fain.

img_8385The camp where we were staying had a ropes course, and Dewayne found himself there looking at a rock climbing wall and wanting to give it a try.  He put on his safety harness, hooked up and grabbing the first handhold pulled himself up.  At about fifteen feet he began to panic saying he couldn’t do it, and climbed back down.

Disappointed in himself, Dewayne left the ropes course feeling pretty bad about not getting to the top, but told us the next day he was going to tackle the zip line.  The zip line platform is situated about forty-five feet in the air suspended on three giant telephone poles.

At breakfast the next morning Dewayne told me about a dream he had while sleeping, and wasn’t sure what it meant.  Encouraging him, I said it was God telling him to do the zip line today.

Right after lunch, he headed straight for the ropes course, like a man possessed.  Puttingimg_8386 on the rigging, he stepped into the line to wait his turn.  Since it was a two man zip line, one of the men who had come with us named Terry told Dewayne he would accompany him down the zip line.  When it was time, Dewayne grabbed the handholds and began his ascent towards the top.

Making it a little higher than the day before, he began shaking and said, “Guys I just can’t do it, I’m coming back down.”  Even though a lot of us were shouting encouragement to him, he climbed down.  It was a devastating blow to his ego, and I knew if he didn’t conquer this, there would be powerful ramifications in his life later because of it.

Terry spoke to the young man running the course and asked if he could talk to Dewayne before unhooking him from the safety rope.  Talking loud enough for Dewayne to hear, but not those of us nearby, Terry spoke to him for a few minutes.

I’m not sure what Terry said, but after he was finished, Dewayne mounted the pole and like a monkey scampered up to the very top in record time, men shouting encouraging words the whole time.  It really was a sight to see.

Zipping down with Terry at his side Dewayne hooped and hollered the entire way thanking Jesus.  It was awesome to see too, afterwards he was high-fiving everyone he saw, telling them what he’d done, even men he didn’t know.  

He faced down his fear and found out there was courage inside of him he didn’t even realize was there on this day.   He came to realize on this trip he did have what it takes.






DDD – What’s Wrong With This Picture?

Well here we are again; another idiot with a gun and an agenda once more has attacked, killed and injured innocent people just living their lives.  And I’m sure the political pundits are eating this up and loving every minute of it; more fodder for the news shows to hash and rehash, and politicos everywhere are working hard to spin this to their advantage.

You may call me cynical, but I find it odd how so many people come together after there is a tragedy, but not really before.  People start showing their solidarity after the fact, but very little if nothing happens prior to the incident.  I guess they are too busy with their own lives to care much.

It’s kind of like fair weather fans of sports teams I guess.  You know; the people who start wearing the jerseys and hats of the team after they win the big game.  But later on in the next season when the team is playing poorly, these guys will bad mouth them and take all of their stuff to Goodwill.

Don’t get me wrong, I am saddened by the loss of life in Orlando, I just find it extremely odd how people could care less about their fellow man a week ago and now they’re all up in arms, asking what can be done to prevent this from ever happening again and talking about gun control once more.

There’s a great subject for us to talk about; gun control.  Some people say, “Let’s get rid of all the guns and poof, there’ll be no more violence.”  Yeah, right, if it wasn’t guns killing people it would be something else.  The problem isn’t guns, the problem is people.

I had a conversation with a naïve young lady once about guns.  She said the reason bad people use guns is because they are so readily available.  If there were no guns, bad people would have no reason to do the things they do.  Life would just be so peaceful. Nothing could be further from the truth.  As long as there are people who don’t care about their fellow man, there will be violence problems; with or without guns.

The message Jesus taught was love, heck even the Beatles told us all we need is love. This is what the world needs; love.  If you love your fellow man, then you don’t want to take from him or harm him.  But how do we achieve this? By setting aside our own desires temporarily to help others achieve theirs.

This world is an awesome place full of amazing people; way more good ones than bad. What we need to do is stop focusing on the negative, trying fix things in a knee jerk fashion and work on the real issues at hand; loving people. Of course, loving people doesn’t sell news stories now does it?