In 1940 the battle for France had been lost and the battle for Britain was to begin. Speaking to Parliament on June 18, 1940 Winston Churchill uttered these immortal words, “Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties, and so bear ourselves that, if the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will still say, ‘This was their finest hour.’” Marina Abramovic, a modern day performance artist, is quoted in Time magazine as saying, “I always believed that people don’t do anything really important from the state of happiness.”
Could it really be? To be great, to produce something of substance, to pull from our depths the richness of our talents, is it necessary for us to be challenged with hardship, pain or loss? Do we not rise to our apex unless we suffer? Was Churchill right about Great Britain or was this merely inspirational rhetoric to steel the British people for what was ahead? I ask this because I think of what we have been promised. Will we not in an eternity of peace and prosperity rise to higher and higher levels of achievement and excellence or will we sink to mediocrity because there will be no pressure? Can we not be happy and still produce feats of great importance to us and to the universe?
Surely God will continue to need us and present us with tasks designed to challenge us and bring out our best. Perhaps the wonders promised us are not luxuries but instead metaphoric mountains to climb, problems to solve, needs to be met that we and we alone can be the solution. Whatever it will be, of this we can be sure. It will make us happy.
Written by Roger Bothwell on November 15, 2016