The Ancient Greeks were not all fur coat and no knickers. They were men of no mean standing. Everything in their garden was lovely. All the geese were geese and not swans. They were athletic, intellectual, philosophical, poetical and democratic. There were also hewers of wood and drawers of water. Their legends and mythologies were not average either. Stories surrounding Ancient Greece have provided rich, tastier and luscious fodder for Hollywood scriptwriters. Some of the most perceptible characters created by Hollywood include Heracles, Jason, Medusa and many more. Real millions of dollars have been minted from these mythical personalities. Talk of converting unreal to real, plans to actions, dreams to numbers and imaginary to tangible.
One of the characters who has stuck with Hollywood like a leech is Heracles. The Romans version was called Hercules. He is the phoenix bird that keeps coming back from ashes. He disappears from the screens for a while, only to appear back in Television series. He has survived from Bronze Age to Computer Age, amphitheatres to Colosseum, Colosseum to Big Screens.
In Greek stories, Heracles was viewed as an every-day hero and not necessarily with bulging biceps and pecs, you could fly with – as some of the films depict him. It was believed that Heracles strength was from divine powers and did not reflect in his physical form. Heracles first real test of strength was when he was summoned to kill the lion of Mount Kithaeron. The monster had been ravaging the herds of a Theban General, and Heracles had little problem disposing of the beast. He skinned the lion, and some say it was the pelt that he is constantly portrayed in. There are other many acts of bravery attributed to Heracles common among them being the ‘Twelve Labours’.
How could a common chap perform uncommon feats?
It is the same question we ask about Samson of the Bible. He is depicted in books and films as a piece of meat, but I tend to believe that he was just an ordinary lad with extraordinary abilities. Heracles’ source of strength, according to the mythologies, was from the gods. Samson’s source of strength, as per the Holy Bible, was God.
I do believe that God has created all human beings and equipped them with immense gifts, talents and abilities that are to be put into use for the betterment of humanity at large. At the same time, I see a situation whereby we have lived below our potentials. We have not been able to harness the extraordinary strength within and use it exhaustively.
Can you imagine the enormity of the potentials you handle?
When talking about the inherent potentials, the Bible has the following to say, ‘Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us,’ Ephesians 3:20 (NIV). The sticking point lies in this phrase, ‘……..according to His power that is at work WITHIN us’.
His power is already working in us to will and to act in order to fulfil his good purpose. It is working in us to produce the best of our lives. This is what Jesus called the Abundant Life.
The problem we face most of the time is the inability to make effective use of this power. We are always operating beneath our capabilities. Sometimes we are firing blanks when we have multiple cartridges of bullets. We are running after a gazelle with a spear when we have bows, crossbows and quivers full of arrows.
At this point, I will shift my gears, walk faster and leave Ancient Greece for a time. For I do not want to follow rabbit trails anymore.
I will now mount a horse, peradventure I beat time. While savouring my ride on a horse, I would like to explore the strength of this horse. I am reliably informed by a sage that the term ‘horsepower’ was invented by James Watt. As I write this am casting a measured glance at my light bulb. A measured glance so that the tranquillity and integrity of my eyes are not imperilled. The bulb is an immortalization of James Watt. This man Watt did some impressive computations and helped us understand how to measure the power produced by engines. Watt outwitted the ‘what’ question and gave us a solution. The world is in need of answers. Our communities are in need of answers. And we are the folks to provide those answers. For we have the power of God working in us. The power that we can tap into and find solutions to the puzzles of our time.
I will now alight from my high horse and get into a vehicle before you can say, Jack Robinson! While at this, I will move sneakily like a sniper, and rarely allow my feet get knee deep into these stuff lest I bore you with bunkum.
At one time, we have used a vehicle to move from one point to another. A car is considered to be “high performance” if it has a lot of power relative to the weight of the car. This makes sense — the more weight you have, the more power it takes to accelerate it. For a given amount of power, you want to minimize the weight in order to maximize the acceleration. This, in additions to others, is the reason some cars are faster than others. Sometimes, it is prudent to shed off unnecessary weight, unless you aren’t interested in reaching your destination fast.
The most fascinating thing is that not all the power in the car is harnessed. Not all the 575 horsepower in the 2018 Land Rover Range Rover Sports SVR is put to use. Meaning you have astronomical power at your disposal that is rarely utilized. And that is the scenario with our lives. We hardly ever use all the power within us. We just scratch the surface. There are thousands of football players, rugby players, Musicians, thespians, writers and loads of talents who are yet to discover themselves and thus yet to be discovered.
Myles Munroe once said, “Don’t die old, die empty. That’s the goal of life. Go to the cemetery and disappoint the graveyard.” Myles Munroe lived by his own maxim maximally. Stop being a duckling when you are really an eagle.