Wednesday, 20 August 2008

Pilgrim's courage

There's a great comment here in Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress...

"But now, in this valley of Humiliation, poor Christian was hard put to it; for he had gone but a little way before he espied a foul fiend coming over the field to meet him: his name is Apollyon. Then did Christian begin to be afraid, and to cast in his mind whether to go back, or to stand his ground. But he considered again, that he had no armor for his back, and therefore thought that to turn the back to him might give him greater advantage with ease to pierce him with his darts; therefore he resolved to venture and stand his ground: for, thought he, had I no more in mine eye than the saving of my life, it would be the best way to stand." (pp.34-35)

What a great challenge - there's no armour for our backs! We are meant to face down whatever comes our way and not to run away. That is the only way to 'save our lives'. Courage is a little-mentioned virtue for the Christian life. I thank Bunyan here for his stirring challenge.