“So I ask you to make full use of the gift that God gave you when I placed my hands on you. Use it well. God’s Spirit doesn’t make cowards out of us. The Spirit gives us power, love, and self-control.” 2 Timothy 1:6-7
How does one become a force of life?
When one looks at the pages of history books, one finds that dates, places, events, and other details seem to be largely meaningless apart from the biographies that ultimately define an age or a moment in history. These characters did not come from the same region or country nor did they belong to the same race or social status. They certainly did not speak the same language nor did they subscribe to the same cultural mores. They did not live during the same period in history. We, in fact, discover that some of them are separated by thousands of years while some of them are contemporaries of one another. The movers who shaped the world are scattered across time and space. They may not be the majority but they certainly defined their respective generations. When talking about these history-defining characters, we also realize that not all are cut from the same mold. Some were heroes, some were villains, some were antiheroes, some were heroes who were initially mistaken as villains, some were villains who for the longest time were considered to be heroes, and some were, for the longest time, relegated into the sidelines of history and their voices have only recently come to fore.
History has quite a number of movers and shakers but when we sift through these characters whose stories stood out across space and time, we discover a special group of individuals and groups who we can call forces of life. And by force of life we mean individuals or groups who saw the silver lining amidst the worst of cultural, social, climatic, or personal storms. They were people who were not defined by the world around them but, on the contrary, chose to define the world that surrounds them. They were people who were able to turn the vestiges of war into brilliant and riveting masterpieces, people who made divine music out of the devastation that surrounds them, people who sang songs of eternal hope during the worst of nights, and people whose eyes were set onto an invisible city whose architect and builder is the God of hope and new beginnings. They were a people who stared death in the face and realized that they have lost their fear of it. They were a people who discovered that faith and courage are intertwined in the same way that grace and truth are inseparable.
This week, we will answer the question “How can one become a force of life?” by looking into biographies of men and women whose legacies across different cultures and societies made their respective communities and the world at large a better place.