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 mediocre 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 unreal personalities. Talk of converting imaginary to material, designs to works, visions to products and theoretical to concrete.
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 reappear 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 paint 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 Cithaeron. 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 numerous exploits of valour assigned 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 the Samson of the Bible. He is portrayed in books and films as a piece of meat, but I tend to believe that he was just a fair lad with exceptional abilities. Heracles’ fount 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 tremendous 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 beneath 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 innate 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 failure to make effective use of this power. We are always operating under 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.