I have this wonderful compilation of songs I bought after the big floods in Australia last year, called Flood Relief. (Here is a link for where to buy it if it sounds appealing http://shop.abc.net.au/products/flood-relief-artists-for-the-flood-appeal ). The songs go straight to the heart of the matter. They are about overcoming the big challenges, about courage, about faith. They don’t sugar-coat the hard stuff, but they do teach how to face it with dignity.
Tonight, after putting the kids to bed, I went to make school lunch for tomorrow, and, as I so often do, I put on that compilation. The first song that I chose was “Search For The Hero” by M People”, and as I peeled eggs and sung along, I realised what I’d write about for you tonight.
You know the times when the world seems dark, when it is all too much, when your best efforts feel like just spinning your wheels and going nowhere? It is those times that I meditate upon faith, and how to keep believing when there is no hard evidence to suggest that you are moving forward. When throwing in the towel begins to seem like a reasonable option, when your cheerleaders have gone silent, when the crowd has packed up and gone home: it is then that we have the chance to prove the truth about ourselves.
We have all done something heroic. If we ponder it long enough, we will discover it. It may not be heroism as in, “she saved five people from the burning building”. It may be more like, she stayed the course when it got rough. She didn’t throw in the towel. You can be a hero to your child, your pet, your spouse, a friend, a stranger, yourself. Sometimes you never even find out you were a hero, but believe me, you were.
Faith. Like Bon Jovi’s song. Like religion counsels. Like the clichés. Sometimes it is simply hanging on, knowing that we are being a lighthouse to someone, even if they never get to tell us so.
Search for the hero inside yourself. It is there. It is powerful. It will move mountains. Just keep the faith, that even when it goes quiet for a while, even when life seems like one big slog up a too-high mountain, that hero-self is there. It goes quiet when it is thinking what to do next, when it is unsure of the course we have chosen. Because when the course is true, that hero-self shines through – and I do mean shines – it shines in your eyes and in your smile.
It is always there. Be still. It will return.