fear, risk, courage, vision.....

today we had our "bane" family christmas. it was at my uncle's home. my dad and stepmom were there. my sister and her family. my brother and his wife. it was the usual family members. i was particularly interested in seeing one person, my cousin Brian. Brian is a tall, slender and handsome young guy. He is 27 and married to a beautiful young woman. Brian is a graduate from UH with a political science degree. Well 2 days ago, while playing golf with my bro, dad and uncle (brian's dad) my uncle told us that brian had joined the army. i was shocked and pleased all at one time. i was wondering, "why do I feel such pride in this decision? he is not my son. we are close, but not that close."

well brian was at the gathering today. i enjoyed talking to him. i began to pepper him with questions about his decision to join the army. what were his motivations? what did he want to do? how did his wife feel about this? was this for a career or just for a time? the questions continued. i guess the biggest reason for this post today had to do with the question that i never asked him...."how are you managing your fears?" I am not sure if that's even the right question. as followers of Jesus we do not manage fears, but overcome them. so i was not interested in his management skills as much as i was how he found courage and hope in the midst of danger and risk.

see brian is joining special forces. he is doing basic in georgia. then airborne school and many other challenges. he actually has to go through some torture treatment as part of his development. i am not suggesting that i approve or disapprove of these tactics, but simply to say that i was thinking of the many fears, risks and challenges that he will face. he knows they are there. he admitted as much. he also said, "you only live once." he also said, which i find powerful, "i know that this is going to be difficult, but it's what i need to do to get where i want to be." awesome! i love it when people mount up on the stallion of courage, perseverance and vision and ride through challenge. his development will be amazing to watch.

i am very proud of Brian. again, i am not sure where this measure of pride comes from. we did not really grow up together, but we know each other. he is a solid, christian young man.

his long term goal is to work in some sort of governmental security agency. maybe CIA or NSA. i pray that Brian advances the kingdom of God while serving our country and the global cause for freedom.