A quote from the movie, Akeelah and the Bee, which I learned was spoken by Nelson Mandela:
Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our greatest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, fabulous, gorgeous, talented? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. You’re playing small doesn’t serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that’s within us. It’s not just in some of us. It’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we automatically give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fears, our presence automatically liberates others.
Think of Frodo, “a mere Hobbit”, who had no idea that upon him hinged the fate of Middle Earth. Think of the Ugly Duckling, on which the fact of “duckling” was only in his brain. Think of Neo in the Matrix (the one), Peter and Lucy in Narnia (a king and queen), and so many other stories. We are not what we think we are. We are more. We have been made in the image of God. We are glorious, so much so that satan cringed when he saw us, and knew he had to do something. This is one of the points that Eldredge makes early on his book, Waking the Dead.
Let me deal quickly with the phrase above, “…the glory of God that’s within us. It’s not just in some of us. It’s in everyone.” Every human ever born is made in the image of God, a fact hotly disputed by the theory of evolution, which is just one in a myriad of things lucifer has designed to blind us and place us in a spell such that we can’t see reality for what it truly is. We were made to be sons and daughters of God. I don’t think that fact can be disputed by any thinking Christian. Of course, this phrase can be used to espouse more of a New Age belief in the ability of us all to be “divine”, to become like God Himself. So I think Mandela’s statement, and Eldredge’s thesis, needs to be balanced off with a healthy dose of humility and assurances that we are not God, and never will be.
But I do believe that we have spent far too long lingering in a woe is me, life is too hard, I can’t wait to get to Heaven, mentality. And until we repent of our sin, and accept Christ’s sacrifice ALONE as the payment for our sins, that “spark of divinity”, that image of God in us, will lie dormant, sleeping, under the spell of the fall of Adam in an eternal winter.
When we do wake up, and see that our heart has been ransomed from the grasp of the serpent, that the Silver Chair can no longer bind us, then we will truly see what Mandela is saying: We are incredible. We are not to shrink back. We are made in the image of Almighty God, and need to express that a little more fully.
This book is really amazing. I look forward to writing more about it.