Great Britain, the largest Empire ever to have existed on the planet, once gave one full quarter of the population of earth the right to possess a British passport. But those days are long gone. Britain has all but drawn in the oars and returned to pretty much taking care of its own shores; and, we might add, likely breathing a sigh of relief at the same time. It’s not easy keeping the masses at ease, as any leader of any empire throughout history could tell you.
Through my years of watching the British handling of affairs, and also through my skimpy study of British history, I can’t help but notice that Britain has occupied a position of power on the planet that at times has been quite unreasonable. From way back then to right now, directed by people behind an incredibly small collection of chairs and tables in the London Parliament, Britain has been victorious in battle over countries that are far larger and have had access to incredible supplies of battle equipment.
At the time of this writing it is June 6 and I’m thinking about the D-Day Commemoration of the battle for the beach at Normandy in France. In roughly 5 years the Nazis had slithered across half the planet in their campaign of terror, and a thin body of water, known on the English side as the English Channel, was all that stood between them and certain undeniable domination of Europe. Just under 25 miles from France at its shortest crossing, this body of water prevented the German war machine from rolling across the Thames into Parliament and sitting on the seat of power controlling a large portion of the planet.
When something is worth fighting for, it is incredible to watch how many times the fighter will get up off the canvas and press forward. This type of unreasonable persistence in the face of unreasonable odds is so very confusing to the opponent. When a powerful fighter gives all he can to the battle, and his weaker opponent, though hurt and wounded, won’t stay down but keeps returning to the fray, it’s just a matter of time before doubt creeps in to the mind of the giant and suggests that this fight might not be won. Desperation causes desperate people to do stupid things. One of the last stupid things the German prison camp warders did before the allied liberation was to burn the camp records along with the camp inmates before turning tail and heading back to the Fatherland.
There is a level in the spirit of man which very few ever discover; it requires a special elevator to ascend to the story that causes one human being to gamble their life for the saving of another. We all have this story, whether we know it or not, and occasionally we are given the opportunity to go up and stand between the bully and his prey … come what may.
It is this demonstration of the victory of hope over power that has fueled many a revolution on the planet. Mark Twain, in one of his books, observes that no revolution has ever been won by people nicely discussing the issues around a shiny table; change is only brought about by the shedding of blood. The walls of our homes, the panels of our vehicles, the attractive landscapes of our cities are all clothed with the blood of our ancestors. It is the victory which they gained that will give us hope to fight the battles of our tomorrows, even though the foe may at times appear invincible. And perhaps it is the failure of the bully’s ancestors that will cause him to think twice before once again throwing his weight around — because the fifteenth round is always lurking and looking for his demise.
If you are looking for a call from heaven, try to think more unreasonably. Do you remember the song, “Anything you can do I can do better....”? Expand the words a little: “Anything ‘I’ cannot do ‘I’ CAN do ...” when I am empowered by Heaven. Imagine yourself standing in an elevator with your finger poised to press the button to floors with titles that look reasonably comfortable:
“Go Help the Food Kitchen Downtown”But there’s also another button marked “Penthouse.” Alongside that button is this title:
“Be Nicer to your Spouse”
“Pay a Faithful Tithe”
“Donate Some of Your Time to ‘Special Needs’ Camp”
“Do Anything and Everything that Needs Doing — No Tools or Previous Experience Required”Maybe that sounds too good to be true. And maybe it’s just too unreasonable for my level of intelligence.
Go ahead. Be unreasonable. Push the button. Make a difference in someone’s life.
Just my take on it …