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Does anyone remember the TV show GUTS on Nickelodeon?  There was the wave pool.  The red, blue, and purple contestants ‘spilling their guts.’  The aggro crag.  It only ran from 1992-95 so while I’m not exactly sure who reads this blog, chances are good that you never saw an episode.  Don’t worry, though, because I’m confident that I watched enough for both of us.

Fortitude, one of the four ‘Cardinal Virtues’, includes two kinds of courage:

  1. The courage to face danger.  And,
  2. The courage to ‘stick it’ under pain.

C.S. Lewis writes that you won’t make it very far on the path to a virtuous life without fortitude, which in modern English most nearly translates to gutsIn other words:  Life. Takes. Guts. a serious dose of ’em.

Today is March 1.  That means that this month – in 15 short days! – I will be driving away from the windy city heading to Pasadena, California.  For so many reasons I’m terrified: I’ve lived in Chicago my whole life.  I’m going alone.  I don’t know where I’m living yet.  I don’t know what I want to do after I finish my theology degree.  I don’t know who I’ll meet there.  I don’t, in some ways, even know why I’m going.

But it’s happening.  And on March 26 I’ll be sitting in a classroom at Fuller Seminary, calling Pasadena home for at least the next 15 months.

Fortitude is not the absence of fear.  At least I hope not because of all the things I feel, fear is near the top of the list.  And so I’m mustering up all the guts I have (and all those I can borrow from friends and family) and I’m going.

To live, to experience all that life has to offer and teach us, I think we need to regularly practice spilling our guts.  It’s not just good for pre-teen TV shows, or for inspiring mantras of doing things every day that scare us.  I believe fortitude is a core component to living a life of faith.

More than doing this one particular action with great fortitude, I hope to become #thekindofperson who embodies a life, character, and quality of guts.


About Samantha Curley

Hi! My name is Samantha Curley. I live in Pasadena, California where I run a non-profit organization called Level Ground (onlevelground.org). I like to ponder, ask questions, and share stories about life, art, and faith.


5 thoughts on “Guts

  1. Chi-Town to Pasadena. I don’t even know you and I’m totally excited for you! It’s true that you need serious guts to do anything good with your life. I was given a free ticket to SXSW. I’m from this itty bitty little town and I’m terrified to go… there are so many people converging on Austin. Ultimately I decided I should go simply because I was afraid to try. I leave on Monday. Let us know how your move turns out. 🙂

    Posted by indyink | March 1, 2012, 1:37 PM
  2. I love you so much! Even though I have encouraged you to go, I, too, am terrified of you going! But, deep down I know if you don’t do this, you will always give in to all your fears. I think you may have written about this in the past, but it is so important for all of us to get out of our comfort zones so that we can fully find the life we were meant to live! I am so proud of all that you’ve done with your life so far and I am sure that I will be proud of whatever you do with your life in the future (whatever that future holds). If you were here now you would hear me singing, “California Here I Come!”


    Posted by Judy Curley | March 1, 2012, 2:16 PM
  3. Standing with you as you go. You are not alone!


    Posted by Phil Ebersole | March 1, 2012, 2:23 PM
  4. First, sad to say, but that was a regularly watched program in our household and I managed to watch a few of the episodes; and two, you do have GUTS in spades. I’m very excited for you, proud of you for taking this enormous step, and just know that you will do fine. See you on the 11th.

    Posted by Betsy | March 1, 2012, 4:23 PM


  1. Pingback: What’s an Idea? | Sam's Storybook - August 19, 2013

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