Not long ago, I was browsing through Nordstrom’s with some friends. A tee-shirt with a slogan printed on it, Keep Calm and Carry On, caught my eye. What great words of encouragement and wisdom. Simple, but profound.
I was curious about this pithy statement and looked it up online. I found out the British government produced three morale-boosting posters at the onset of World War II in 1939. The first two posters, Your Courage, Your Cheerfulness, Your Resolution will Bring Victory and Freedom is in Peril were posted on public transport, in shop windows and on notice boards. The Keep Calm and Carry On poster was to be issued only if Britain was invaded by Germany. Since this never happened, the poster was never officially seen by the public. It is believed most of the Keep Calm posters were destroyed at the end of the war, in 1945. Some 60 years later, a bookseller found a poster in a pile of old books purchased at an auction. The straight-forward/to-the-point message has been revived and graces tee-shirts, mugs, stationery, and other memorabilia.
It’s good advice–especially in times of duress and uncertainty. Keep Calm and Carry On is reassuring when the cost of living continues climbing, but incomes remain the same, or even more distressing, when jobs disappear, leaving thousands of people unemployed. Random acts of nature have occurred this year with a vengeance as unprecedented tornadoes, floods, earthquakes and tsunamis have wreaked havoc on communities and countries. It’s helpful to be reminded to put one foot in front of the other and not give in to panic.
I’ve experienced a number of times in my life, when Keep Calm and Carry On could have been my mantra. For me, it’s much more than a stoic determination to do this in my own strength. I realize the One who keeps me calm and gives me strength to carry on is Jesus Christ. A verse from the book of Philippians says: Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
I appreciate the succinctness of this British slogan now making a comeback, but I’m thankful we aren’t left alone to carry on.
How about you? How do you keep on keeping on?