The Ancient Greeks were men of no mean repute. They were athletic, intellectual, philosophical, poetical and democratic. Their legends and mythologies were not average either. Stories surrounding the Ancient Greece have provided rich, tastier and luscious fodder for Hollywood script writers. 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, amphitheaters 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 appearance. 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 them exhaustively.
Can you imagine the vastness of the capacities you wield?
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. 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 running below 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.
Do you have a field in your life that is full of gifts, talents and abilities but lying fallow? When your field lies fallow, it becomes a cozy home to beasts who make the lives of people around a nightmare.
At this point, I will shift my gears, walk faster and leave Ancient Greece for a time. I will now mount a horse, peradventure I beat time. While enjoying my ride on a horse, I would like to explore the strength of this horse. I am reliably informed 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 tranquility and integrity of my eyes are not compromised. The bulb is an immortalization of James Watt. This man Watt did some interesting calculations and helped us understand how to measure the power produced by engines. Watt outwitted the ‘what’ question and gave us an answer. The world is 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 problems.
I will alight from my high horse and get inside a vehicle. While at this, I will move sneakily and will rarely allow my feet get knee deep into these stuffs lest I bore you with bunkum.
At one time, we have used a car 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 550 Horsepower on the 2016 Land Rover Range Rover Sport 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 on the surface. There are thousands of football players, Rugby players, Musicians, thespians, writers and loads of talents on the street looking for ‘white collar’ jobs. The amazing talents are untapped.
Stop being a duckling when you are really an eagle.
Roger Bannister was the first man to run a mile in three minutes and 59.4 seconds. This happened in 1954. Before then, it was thought ‘impossible’ to run a mile under four minutes. Bannister wasn’t really supposed to do that. However, it wasn’t the physical barrier, but the psychological one that prevented other athletes from trying out. This extraordinary account is what came to be known as the ‘Bannister Effect’. In the 12 months after his historic run, 37 more runners broke the four-minute mile, and in the 12 months after that, another 300 did it. All athletes who presumably could have run that fast before Bannister’s run!
Learn to forget about what other people see as impressive, great, or even beyond the limits of what can be achieved. Focus on what you really feel you want to do and have potential for, and remember the Bannister effect and how it can be little more than a limiting popular delusion.
Myles Munroe once said, “Don’t die old, die empty. That’s the goal of life. Go to the cemetery and disappoint the graveyard.” Looking at Dr. Munroe’s life, one can conclude that he maximally lived to his maxim.
Do you believe with me that it is high time that we maximized our horsepower?
What are your observations?