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When Chuck Norris grows up, he wants to be a Gurkha.

Gurkhas are natives of the multi-ethnic highlands of Nepal.  Over several centuries they have earned global notoriety as fearless warriors.

The Chief of Staff of India’s armed forces once suggested, “If a man says he is not afraid of dying, he is either lying or is a Gurkha.”  Working closely with the British Army during World War II, Gurkhas earned 2,734 awards for bravery and suffered 32,000 casualties in war zones far from home.

When the British were preparing a risky invasion into Japanese-held territory in Southeast Asia, their first option was to deploy gung-ho Gurkhas.  A British commander asked one of the Gurkha leaders if his men would be willing to attempt something they had never done before – be airdropped into the combat zone. 

The Gurkha pondered that for a moment.  Then he said, “Let me go ask my men.”  That surprised the British.  The Gurkhas normally responded unhesitatingly, even to extreme peril. 

When the Gurkha chief returned he said, “My men will take this assignment, but we’d like to have three assurances.  First, when we jump from the plane, will we be landing in an area with only a few rocks?”  “That’s affirmative,” said the British. 

“Second, will the plane slow down before we jump?”  “Absolutely,” answered the Brits.

“Well, then,” said the Gurkha, “can you ensure that the plane will be no more than 100 feet above the ground when we jump?”  “Impossible!” said the British.  “That wouldn’t provide enough time for your parachutes to open.” 

At that the Gurkha’s eyes brightened.  “Oh, we get parachutes?  In that case, count us in!”

There’s dedication.  And then there’s dedication. 

Perhaps the best way to describe trusting God is signing your name to a blank sheet of paper. 

“Lord, you fill in the rest.  Count me in to whatever you’ve got in mind.”

It takes Gurkha courage to abandon the idol of trying to control your own life.  It takes courage for most of us to stay hopeful when watching the evening news.  It may even take courage for you to get up in the morning and face the responsibilities of a new day.

But whatever courage and resolve we might lack, God lavishes generously. 

“I can do all things through him who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:13).   

As a new year approaches, we can only wonder about the circumstances and situations where life is about to drop us.

What we can know for sure is that we will never be going anywhere alone.