I have found great inspiration from causes and calling greater than I. The words spoken or the picture painted – that of something big, a cause, and a purpose bigger than even those who say it in some cases.
In Scripture, Paul’s words,
“But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us”
perhaps captures the nature of the message carriers; that despite their inherent weakness yet they have been called or entrusted with a greater cause. I’m always inspired by Paul’s words of ‘striving towards the goal…. pressing on towards the mark’. It is my favourite verse in all Scripture and my mantra to keep trying and never give up. Here is the fuller script of the text.
“Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus”
Jesus words are magnetic and convicting as can be –
‘To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth.’
I could never think of more convicting words in all history. They speak of a very solemn purpose – noble and unbent – that we can only look up to and be inspired to step on the line where it really matters and for what matters.
I think of the words of Martin Luther King in his mountain top speech. Perhaps not as celebrated as the renowned ‘I Have a Dream Speech’ but I have always listened to those words and felt the conviction behind the voice. And nothing ahead of me could be daunting anymore. It always got me fired up from the inside out; to keep believing, dreaming, and aspiring even beyond inherent challenges and circumstances. Here is an excerpt of the last paragraph of what was to be his last speech before he was assassinated.
“Well, I don’t know what will happen now. We’ve got some difficult days ahead. But it doesn’t matter with me now. Because I’ve been to the mountaintop. And I don’t mind. Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I’m not concerned about that now. I just want to do God’s will. And He’s allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I’ve looked over. And I’ve seen the promised land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land. And I’m happy, tonight. I’m not worried about anything. I’m not fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.”
Certainly Nelson Mandela’s statement from the dock during during the Rivonia Trials in the 60s in anticipation of a possible death sentence is one of those that sent chills down my spine every time I read or heard of it. It only reminded me only too well that those who are willing to sacrifice for a cause bigger than themselves have their place in the table of greatness and significance.
“During my lifetime I have dedicated myself to this struggle of the African people. I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.”
I end of with Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu born in Skopje, Macedonia, a woman whose signature was love. She found opportunity to serve among the lowly of low in Calcutta, India and for her cause and her work we celebrate her and identify her as Mother Teresa.
“I’m a little pencil in the hand of a writing God, who is sending a love letter to the world.”
Certainly, I could on about the likes of Gandhi among other icons of our history. The common thread however remains that they stood up for a greater cause and had a conviction more powerful than any opposition; that carried them through even the most difficult of times in pursuing their call.
Question is… What is your cause and what is your statement of conviction that gets you going even when things are tough. Who or what inspires you, whether in word or in deed in your world.
Wishing you a Timspirational Weekend!