Sunday, February 5, 2017

Giving In

February 5, 2017

It was October 29, 1941. The year before, England had nearly been brought to its knees as Hitler's Luftwaffe bombed airfields, military targets, and finally, London in an ultimately futile effort to persuade the Brits to sue for peace so he could attack Russia unhindered by a second front. Many in the Parliament were ready to do just that but for one person who refused to accept defeat. Winston Churchill was adamant that England would never surrender to the barbarous Nazis. From July 10 till October 31, 1940, The Luftwaffe came in waves, leaving behind death and destruction. Churchill and England fought back till Hitler finally cancelled his planned invasion and turned eastward. The Battle of Britain was over, but the war had barely begun.

On this particular October day a year later, Churchill was standing before the students at Harrow, his old school from which he had almost flunked out. In his speech, he spoke of the iron determination that had brought them through the crisis, with these words:

"You cannot tell from appearances how things will go." He then spoke of how appearances can be deceiving, after which he uttered these words forever associated with his name: "Never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never-in nothing, great or small, large or petty—never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense." Everyone had thought they were beaten...except Churchill.

The stakes weren't nearly as high, but tonight the spirit was the same. At half time, it appeared as if the game would be a rout. In Atlanta, everyone was gearing up for a party, and I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of folks turned off their televisions in disgust. But Tom Brady refused to believe he and his team were beaten, and staged the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history.

If you look around you, it often appears as if all that is good and sacred is being utterly thrashed by the other team. Violence everywhere, unspeakable immorality, human depravity proudly exhibited for all to see, a tidal wave of addictions of all sorts. It's 21-3; no way we can win. But it's only half time. I am grateful tonight that the game of life isn't over yet, and our Quarterback makes Brady look like an amateur.

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