Monday, June 7, 2010

a calling

Moving away from the superficial, sale-induced, materialism of yesterday's post and more toward things that actually matter, let's talk about the human soul and its potential and role in the world. (How's that for a switch?)

Invictus is a 2009 movie about Nelson Mandela, rugby, and this poem by 19th century English poet William Ernest Henley:

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

And whereas I believe that God is the ultimate Master of our fate, I also believe we too are called to a role of action and perseverance and faith in order for Him to work through us. Ultimately, God gave us the gift of choice, and this poem in the context of the movie's plot truly captures that and inspires us to focus, forgive, seek, give, and do.

One of my favorite themes in Scripture is Call and Response. Abraham, Moses, Joseph, Samuel, Esther, Ruth, Jesus, the apostles, Paul, and virtually every character mentioned in the Bible has a story about Call and Response and a lesson that fits perfectly into our little modern lives. Outside of Scripture, we can see profiles of Call and Response in historical figures, news stories, and certainly in the common people we encounter in our everyday lives. I love looking for it, reflecting on it, talking about it, seeing it unfold.

This movie is about Call and Response. This poem is about Call and Response. Life is about Call and Response:

Here are my circumstances. How will I RESPOND?

It's a great weekend movie. Inspiring, historical, thought-provoking, and overall well done.

If you've already seen Invictus, what did you think?

What do you think about the theme "Call and Response?"


  1. Invictus is at the top of our Netflix queue. Can't wait to see it.

  2. This post brought to mind a quote another blogger friend posted months ago that struck & stuck. I dug thru her archives in order to cut & paste it here :)

    Salvation concerns the sinner’s acceptance of the free gift of eternal life and the forgiveness of sins through faith alone. Discipleship concerns the believer’s response to the grace received by offering himself to God in submission, obedience, and sacrifice. In salvation, Christ paid the price; in discipleship, the believer pays the price. Therefore, salvation is free, but discipleship is costly. Because they are separate issues, there is no contradiction.
    -- Dietrich Bonhoeffer


  3. That is profoundly powerful! THANK YOU for "digging it up" and sharing it here.

  4. 知識可以傳授,智慧卻不行。每個人必須成為他自己。...........................................................................

  5. Hey Courtney!

    I *LOVED* this poem...I'd never seen it before (nor have I seen "Invictus").....Really needed this tonight...

    ...and I'd love to hear more on your thoughts on this concept you're talking about, "Call and response"...drop by my sight and elaborate if you feel like it....really, I'm intrigued....

    ...Thanks, Courtney, for such an uplifting, timely post, Girlfriend...

  6. Hey Courtney! Just got your note over on my site.....and *really* appreciated it....there is a lot of really good stuff there to take in, wow, Girl...

    ...I wrote you back over there, but, I'll cut and copy my response here too, save you a trip ; )...

    "Courtney! I LOVE this!!!! This line here especially grabbed me and has my synapses firing like crazy...."Our very circumstances are a call. I am trying to look more at my days as lots of little callings to get up, go out, serve"

    Wow....WOW......what an *excellent* perspective...I'm so glad you shared this with me tonight....

    ...REALLY *good* stuff, Girlfriend."


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