Tag Archives: courage

Have courage… God is awake

“Have courage for the great sorrows of life and patience for the small ones; and when you have laboriously accomplished your daily task, go to sleep in peace. God is awake.”

– Victor Hugo

I’ve been worrying about a lot of things lately — the car that could break any day, the out-of-state job my husband could get, etc. — and I need to hear this today. God is awake.

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Faint Heart

I have a head cold and am feeling fuzzy and stupid, so I’m going to post a quote I don’t really know what to do with. I first heard it in the Disney animated version of Robin Hood, a favorite movie of mine since childhood.

In the story, the Sheriff of Nottingham is holding an archery tournament, and the winning prize (a golden arrow) will be given out by Maid Marian, who in this version is Robin Hood’s childhood sweetheart. Robin wants to compete, naturally, but Little John points out that it’s probably a trap. Robin bows, and in a purposefully over-dramatic way (that implies he’s quoting or repeating a stock phrase), he says,

“Faint heart never won fair lady.”

That stuck me when I was 8, and I still love it. Does anyone know what he’s quoting or referencing? I highly recommend this movie, by the way. It tells a great story, and there’s some genuine drama, but it never takes itself too seriously. I’d say pretty much the same thing about my other favorite Robin Hood movie:The Adventures of Robin Hood with Errol Flynn. Good stuff.

Desire life like water, yet drink death like wine

“Take the case of courage. No quality has ever so much addled the brains and tangled the definitions of merely rational sages. Courage is almost a contradiction in terms. It means a strong desire to live taking the form of a readiness to die. ‘He that will lose his life, the same shall save it,’ is not a piece of mysticism for saints and heroes. It is a piece of everyday advice for sailors or mountaineers. It might be printed in an Alpine guide or a drill book.

“This paradox is the whole principle of courage; even of quite earthly or quite brutal courage. A man cut off by the sea may save his life if he will risk it on the precipice. He can only get away from death by continually stepping within an inch of it. A soldier surrounded by enemies, if he is to cut his way out, needs to combine a strong desire for living with a strange carelessness about dying. He must not merely cling to life, for then he will be a coward, and will not escape. He must not merely wait for death, for then he will be a suicide, and will not escape. He must seek his life in a spirit of furious indifference to it; he must desire life like water and yet drink death like wine.”

– G. K. Chesterton, from The Paradoxes of Christianity

Promptly and Without Flinching

“Face adversity promptly and without flinching, and you will reduce its impact. Never run from anything, and never ever quit.”
– Winston Churchill