KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON – A 70 YEAR-OLD MESSAGE, REPOSITIONED
Today, we are facing so much. You’ve been knocked down; you can’t pray. We have those hand-wringing moments when we cry: “Lord, this is bad. What am I going to do?” I call them spiritual panic attacks. What’s the solution? Let me offer six assurances that you can claim from the King of Kings, and a repositioned, timeless message from an earthly king and our friends across the Atlantic.
First, a quick story. One of my best travel memories is a trip to England with my friend, Fran. Actually, to say that I traveled “with” her is a misnomer. Passionate, dedicated, compulsive United flier that I am, the thought of racking up 8,000 miles that didn’t count towards elite flyer status struck panic in my heart. I flew on United Airlines; we met in London. After a stay at the Lowndes Hyatt, Belgravia (charming, very British, we could walk to Harrods!), we rented a car and drove off—no particular destination in mind. We stumbled upon Castle Combe, called the prettiest village in England, and the posh Manor House. In the middle of manicured grass was a helicopter pad. (So, now you know my travel motto is basically: if you can’t sleep in your own bed, don’t go downhill.)
As we drove across southern England, our last stop was a bed and breakfast in Selworthy, a village of thatched-roof cottages. We were fed hearty breakfasts of thick sausage, ate scones, and drank tea so strong it gave me palpitations. I grew to love the English people and the countryside.
Reminiscing about that trip is, perhaps, why this historic English poster so inspires me. Produced in 1939 by the British Ministry of Information, it was rediscovered in 2000 in a box of antiquities at a used book store. The motivational theme—Keep Calm and Carry On—was intended as a morale-booster at the start of World War II, a succinct message from King George VI to his people. Facing impending wartime disaster, the insignia of George’s crown and the message were meant to instill courage, cheerfulness and resoluteness as a remedy for uncertainty.
What does the King of Kings have to say about our uncertain times? Here are the six assurances, based on the promises of God:
- You can trust the faithfulness of God. Lamentations 3:22-23—“Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”
- You can do great things if your vision is right. Peter walked on water—Matthew 14:22-31.
- Take your eyes off the chaos. Keep Calm
- Get doubt out of the way; be courageous. Carry On
- Keep focused on Jesus.
- Your ultimate victory is certain! Jesus’ blood conquers every trial. 1 Corinthians 15:57—“But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”