“It is going on when you don’t have strength.”
Powerful words. Promising words. “Courage isn’t having the strength to go on – it is going on when you don’t have strength.” – Napoleon Bonaparte. I recall similar words when looking back into Biblical history. I’m thinking of the story of Moses as an example. Here is another quote that would apply to that situation, (paraphrased) from Rick Yancey: “God doesn’t call the equipped, He equips the called.” Moses could not speak well, yet he was called to speak before the most powerful man in the world, Pharaoh of Egypt, Ramses.
I see some similarity in the two statements. To go on. To move forward. Blind faith. It was Third Day, a music group, that was performing live. The lead singer called out after a stellar performance, “I can’t go on, I can’t go on!” The crowd was going wild. A fellow band member, after a pregnant pause, asks him, “Can you go on?” The singer takes a deep breath and blows it out, replying, “Yeah!” We can do that. When our brain is screaming out, “I can’t go on!”, we can redirect our thinking and ask ourselves, “Can we go on?” Yeah.
Moving through challenges
Strength, courage, moving ahead and moving through the challenges. We can do this. We absolutely can. “Courage isn’t having the strength to go on – it is going on when you don’t have the strength.” I pause to reflect on those words. Each of us has been knocked down in life in one manner or another. What should we do when knocked down. Get back up! Dust off and move forward. There are certain to be scars and bruises. They will heal. Just move forward.
There are so many quotes with similar themes of overcoming. Even Samuel Clemens has this to say: “It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog.” Again, there is a theme of overcoming adversity. We humans have the remarkable trait of resilience. Sometimes we lose connection with it but it remains within us. Redirect our thoughts of self-defeat and embrace our spirit to overcome!
Here is yet another angle on being knocked down, yet overcoming. The song, “The Boxer” by Simon & Garfunkel. Released in 1965, the lyrics to the song are partially inspired by the Bible. Here is the closing stanza.
“In the clearing stands a boxer
And a fighter by his trade
And he carries the reminders
Of every glove that laid him down
And cut him ’til he cried out
In his anger and his shame
“I am leaving, I am leaving”
But the fighter still remains, mhmm”
The boxer carries the reminders of every glove that laid him down. Scars, perhaps broken bones. He finally has enough and declares, “I am leaving, I am leaving.” It doesn’t end there. “BUT the fighter still remains.” Knocked down hard? Get back up, the fighter still remains! Each of us needs to feed our fighting spirit. 1 Corinthians 10:13 has been abbreviated over time to the phrase, “God will never give you more than you can handle.” It is happening in the background. When we don’t have the strength, it is with blind faith that we will overcome. We may lose battles but the war is won. Rest assured.
I find it fascinating there exists so much commentary on human perseverance. I guess nobody ever promised me life would be easy but despite the challenges and, in fact, giving them no regard, I am ever thankful for the many blessings. Look around on this day and make note of all the blessings life has extended. It is really amazing. It is really overwhelming. Life truly does find a way through it all.
Courage isn’t having the strength to go on. Courage is going on when we don’t have the strength. Be of good courage. In it lies our strength, though we may not feel it at the moment. It will carry us forward when we feel as though we can’t feel our feet – and it will lead us to a place that is beyond the trials where we can find peace.