The Ancient Greeks were not all fur coat and no knickers. They were men of no mean repute. Everything in their garden was lovely and lavish. All the geese were geese and not swans. They were athletic, intellectual, philosophical, poetical and democratic. Interestingly, 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 again 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 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 consistently portrayed in. There are other many acts of intrepidity attributed to Heracles common among them being the ‘Twelve Labours’.
How could an ordinary chap perform extraordinary feats?
It is the same question we ask about the 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 vast 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 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 to will and to act 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 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.
At this point, I will shift my gears, walk faster and leave Ancient Greece for a time. I do not want to follow rabbit trails anymore.
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 tranquillity and integrity of my eyes are not jeopardised. The bulb is an immortalisation of James Watt. This man Watt did some impressive 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 need solutions. And we are the folks to provide these solutions. For we have the power of God working in us. The energy that we can tap into and uncover answers to problems.
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 will rarely allow my feet to get knee deep into this stuff lest I bore you with bunkum
At one time, we have used a car to move from one point to another. A vehicle 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 minimise the weight in order to maximise 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 fascinating thing is that not all the power in the car is harnessed. Not all the 575 horsepower on 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 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 fantastic talents are untapped.
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 maximally to his maxim. Stop being a duckling when you are indeed an eagle.