SPOILER WARNING FOR WILD ARMS!
Fear—we found out how much of a liar it really is. We saw previously in “Quelling Our Fears” how much of a liar fear is, and that it can corrupt the good in folks, leading them to very dark places. We last saw our heroes of Filgaia, a once majestic place now a dying planet, overcoming their fears to save a land that they called home from destruction caused by the Metal Demons. The trio, Cecilia the magician, Jack the treasure hunter, and Rudy the outcast, met their fears head-on to save the planet. How do they obtain the courage necessary to continue in their journey? What do they learn that helps them press onward under terrifying circumstances? They find courage that erupts from their love and hope.
Courage to Protect
As their journey continues, the trio of heroes face more and more dangerous and hopeless circumstances. Their first task findsthem preventing an alien demon race dedicated to turning Filgaia into their new home, the Metal Demons, from obtaining the heart pieces of their leader, Mother. The Filgaians in the past split her heart in three and placed them into statues of the Guardians, the deities of Filgaia, for safekeeping. One by one, the trio defends the statues, but in each circumstance, they fail.
Because of this failure, the demons obtain all three pieces of the heart and awaken Mother. Despite this, the heroes do not give up hope, and they continue to fight for their planet. They discover one of the facets of real courage: fighting for the protection of others. As their journey nears its climax, the heroes receive the other necessary foundations of courage. They obtain the powers of the High Guardians, the guardians of Hope and Love alongside the guardian of Courage.
“The light that has been forgotten is waiting among our people. The power that is derived from Courage is the power to conquer the past. It is the essence of the inner revolution. The power to protect the precious is the power of Love. The powers of Love and Courage are the powers of the west wind. The hope for tomorrow. The belief in possibilities is the power of Hope. The great flapping wings of Zephyr will ultimately open Filgaia’s future.” – Baskar Chief, Wild Arms
The trio finds that courage springs forth from hope and love. Even Jack, who is obsessed with finding the ultimate courage, comes to understand that real courage lay in his desire to protect those he loves. With their newfound grit, the trio storms the Metal Demon base in Arctica. This is the kingdom in the far north, near the castle where Mother is being kept as the Metal Demons revive her. They fight tirelessly to defeat each of Mother’s minions, and ultimately, to destroy the leader herself. They did this to protect the land that they had come to love.
This was not the only show of courage, either. A friendly golem, a giant robotic weapon, sacrifices itself to save the trio from the collapse of the giant tower the Demons used. A cowardly sea captain vows to sail the trio into whatever dangers they may find themselves so that he, too, could help protect his home and those he came to love.
Wild Arms expertly portrays these actions as hugely beneficial to the survival of the people of Filgaia. The quote above, from the Chief of the Baskar people, helps to illustrate that point. The Baskar people is a clan that lives off the land. Their culture is steeped in the worship of the guardians, thus they are in tune with the Guardians and their will. They know that Courage, Hope, and Love combined can overcome any fear and can rebuild and overcome the past that fear dominated.
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go,” Joshua 1:9.
In real life, there is just as much a dire need for courageous people as there is in Filgaia. Each of us has things in our personal experiences that we must face with courage. For example, a medical diagnoses for depression may require our courage. Circumstances like standing up for yourself or on behalf of a friend in the face of a (workplace) bully, or delivering a vital speech also require our courage. Even seemingly trivial things must be met with courage, such as telling a loved one how you feel.
We must remember, however, that no amount of courage will totally drive away fear. As a result, fear will always exist. Instead, real courage gives one the energy and tenacity needed to push through the fear. Courage prevents fear from running the situation. As John Wayne said, “Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway.” Courage helps us push through terrifying circumstances despite fear, not because fear has been dispelled.
Additionally, we must not neglect the roles that hope and love play in courage. Just as the Baskar Chief knew, real courage is easily awakened by the hope of a better future and the love of those precious to you. For example, asking for a beloved’s hand in marriage is nerve-wracking, but your love for them overcomes that fear. This love lends you the courage to ask them the all-important question. Another example includes seeking help for an issue you may have, with the hope of a better outcome pushing you to ask for said help.
The good news is this: none of this has to be done alone!
“For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline,” 2 Timothy 1:7.
Our faith in God directly supplements our hope and love. Through the power of God, we have unlimited confidence in a better future. Through the grace of God, we see what real and endless love is. Even Jesus, in the darkest hours of his life, exhibited true courage by undergoing the crucifixion that was necessary for the salvation of all of mankind. When we allow God to enter our lives, He transforms us from the inside out. He can give us the tools necessary to approach each situation with the courage needed to overcome our fears. Because of this, we may make our lives and our world a better place.