Courage in Hard Times

In book two of the Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers, we find our friends from the first book, continuing on where we left them.  Merry and Pippin are surrounded by Orcs, Sam and Frodo are off on their own, heading to Mordor, and Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli are retracing everyone's steps to try to figure out what had happened. 

These books by J.R.R. Tolkien are full of stories of courage.  Whether the character be a man or an elf, a hobbit or a dwarf, an ent or a wizard, the level of integrity and the level of courage in seemingly impossible situations is inspiring.  

The above quote by Van Gogh makes me wonder what would have happened in Middle Earth if Frodo had just said no.  If he had refused because he was too scared to accept the challenge. What would have happened to his world? What of the others?  What if they had refused because they had other responsibilities?  

What about in our lives?  How many times have challenges or opportunities come upon us, big or small, and we turn away from them and say no.  No, we are too busy.  No, we are too scared. No, we really don't care enough. No, let someone else do it.  What does this do to our world?  

Now I realize, we can't always drop everything and accept every opportunity.  We have responsibilities and it isn't wise to overburden ourselves to where we can't take care of our own families,  but sometimes in life we have to say yes.  Yes, I accept that challenge.  I may not feel like I have the time and I'm scared, but I'm going to work it out and face that fear and press on in my life. What would life be if we had no courage to attempt anything?  I don't intend to find out.