Dr. Jack Groppel is an author and internationally recognized authority in the science of human performance. He is also the co-founder and Vice-President of Human Performance Institute.
Groppel works with leaders of various professions to hone optimum performance in their respective fields. A few years ago he did an experiment in the swamplands of Florida that he videoed and uses in his seminars.
The first video was a training assignment for a group of NFL linebackers. They were to run through the swampy area about one mile away, touch a white fence and then return back to base camp. Groppel then added one final, important detail: a wild boar had been spotted in the forest that morning. He explained how dangerous wild boars can be and how they all needed to be on high alert.
These massive men, all weighing over 300 pounds, took off toward their assigned target. However, a cameraman had been planted along the forest trail, hiding behind the bushes. When you watch the video of what took place that day, these massive linemen come around the bend looking panicky. At that point the cameraman begins to snort and rustle the bushes. The football players each turn tail and run, squealing like schoolgirls. It’s hilarious!
In the second video, Groppel shows the exact same scenario. This time the subjects are CIA operatives. At the point where those operatives come around the bend and the alleged wild boar starts snorting and rustling, each operative gets into combat position and holds his ground.
Our word of the week is “courage.”
In the Bible the word courage means “to prevail, to harden, to be strong, to be firm, to be resolute, to be stout.”
Courage is not something that is merely physical. Big men, like NFL linebackers, can run at the rustle of a bush! Courage, from God’s perspective involves spiritual commitment, moral convictions, combined with mental and emotional strength founded on faith.
David, a teenage Shepherd boy, was courageous when he stepped up to fight Goliath. Not just because he was a kid and Goliath was a giant champion. But he overcame the fear of his fellow countrymen, the ridicule of his older brother and the doubt of King Saul. David was courageous.
Later, as the sweet Psalmist of Israel, David would write, “Be strong and let your heart take courage, All you who hope in the Lord. (Ps 31:24).
When God called Joshua to assume the mantel of leadership from Moses and lead Israel into the promised land, he challenged him “to be strong of good courage” (Josh 1:6).
At the end of his life King David called his son, Solomon to his side and encouraged him as he ascended to the throne, “Be strong and of good courage; do not fear nor be dismayed.” (I Chron 22:13).
Following the last Supper, on the way to the cross, Jesus encouraged his apostles to be faithful in the face of tribulation, opposition and hardship. He said, “These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)
Often our confused culture labels people as courageous, who really aren’t and overlooks those unknown and unheralded people who really are courageous.
In a culture that is rapidly changing and often critical of Christians and those who espouse traditional, Biblical values, we are called upon to be courageous. Henry VanDyke called courage, “the standing army of the soul which keeps it from conquest, pillage, and slavery.”
Courage originates within and is demonstrated in actions and attitudes.
Courage stands firm on principles instead of public opinion.
Courage is doing what is right for the right reasons, even when there is the temptation to do wrong.
Courage is founded on faith, fed by God’s Word, and fostered by prayer.
Courage is exercised daily in the “small issues” of life.
You, too, can “Be strong and courageous”!
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman