It Takes Courage
By DANNY MINTON
His name was Louis “Moses” Rose. Few people recognize the name, and I doubt that one in a hundred people would know about him. He was born in France in 1785 and died in 1850 in Logansport, Louisiana.
“Moses” Rose is a part of Texas Alamo legend. According to some historians, he was the only man not to cross the line that Travis supposedly drew in the sand in March of 1836. When asked why he refused to cross, he simply said, “I wasn’t ready to die!” He would later carry the distinction as the coward of the Alamo. He wouldn’t be a hero, but was he a coward? Did it take more courage to go against what everyone else decided or to stay and fight, not knowing the outcome?
Folk singer, Steve Suffet, immortalizes Rose in a folk song, “Moses Rose of Texas,” sung to the tune of “The Yellow Rose of Texas.”
He’s Moses Rose of Texas,
and today nobody knows,
he’s the one who left the Alamo,
the night before the foe
came storming in up across the walls
and killed the men inside,
but Moses Rose of Texas
is the one who never died.
Later in the song, he gives the reasoning behind Rose’s actions.
Pressure from your peers,
Or a challenge to your manhood,
Or frightened by the jeers,
Remember that discretion,
Is valor’s better part,
And let the life of Moses Rose,
Put courage in your heart.
Although this is a legend with various interpretations, it made me ask myself, “What would I have done in that situation?”
Then I remembered the story of Peter standing by the fire, proclaiming out loud, “I don’t know the man!” Three times he vehemently denied knowing Jesus; three times! A line faced him in the sand, and for one brief moment, Peter could not bring himself to step across.
Besides possibly John, where were the other nine? A line appeared with no indication they were anywhere close to what was happening that night.
I can’t fault them. I don’t know what I would have done that night, facing the danger of being tortured and either imprisoned or executed. It would be easy to look back and find fault, but then again, what would I have done? Would I have had the courage to stand up for Jesus?
Were they cowards? No, like all of us, sometimes we have more courage than other times. Each of these men who followed Jesus would later stand up for Jesus in a way that cost them their lives or freedom. Like them, we will find ourselves in situations where our courage to stand firm will be weaker than other times. However, as we grow as followers, it becomes easier and more comfortable to have the courage to be like Christ. It’s a growth process that we experience our entire lives.
To be a true Christian, a faithful follower of Christ takes courage. Every day we follow Christ, lines stand in our way.
It takes courage to take a stand for the Word of God when the world is going to ridicule us and try and use it against us.
It takes courage to stand up for the will of God instead of the desires of men.
It takes courage to listen to criticism and move forward with what we believe shows the right course.
It takes courage to go up to someone and talk to them about the sin in their lives.
It takes courage to admit our shortcomings.
It takes courage to lead in a world where Satan is active in every corner.
It takes courage to stand up for Jesus.
But Jesus never said it would be easy. There will be times a line appears in the sand, and we face the courage to step across or not. There will be times we will be warming by a fire and asked to stand up for our Savior.
As he told his disciples, “people will hate you”; “people will say all kinds of evil things about you”; people will treat you ugly – Why? – All because of Me!
As we face the line and reach down for courage to forge ahead, we should always remember the words of Paul:
“I can do all things through him who gives me strength.”
Danny Minton is Pastoral Minister and Elder at Southern Hills Church of Christ