I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.
Do you ever wonder why is it that the idea of traveling around the world, and being discipled while equipped with leadership skills, all the while doing academics would scare anyone? I often meet college students whose eyes grow big with a look of fear in their faces when I share the many places we travel to in our nine-month journeys. I guess the thought of getting away from what is familiar is a lot more threatening than the adventure of engaging new cultures and learning more about ourselves in the process. In all honesty, I do not mock those who feel that way. It is a hard thing to move away from what is comfortable to start something new and completely different.
I have noticed an interesting trend that may explain this better; Society often bombards us with claims that we must be tolerant. That is good, but being tolerant simply means, we put up with others so that we can coexist and continue to live comfortable lives-that’s all. I wonder what would happen if we were to come out of our comfort zone and instead of just tolerating, we actually engaged and love people of other cultures, races, gender or religious beliefs? Can you see yourself playing indoor soccer with Kiwis in New Zealand? Or hiking with Germans through the Black Forest? Can you see yourself teaching English to introvert students in South Korea, or helping treat patients in Honduras, or aid victims of human trafficking from the Ukraine? The thought may be scary, but just think of the impact of the ripple effect it would leave in a world that is desperate for genuine friendship and real love.
See, the things that scare us most are nothing but stumbling blocks on our way to find purpose beyond the status quo. What would happen if we decided to move beyond our personal biases and fears and embrace life with others around the world? What if we become vulnerable about our doubts and fears? Do you think we might find it easier to relate to others? I believe the world would begin to look differently, perhaps even better and so would we.