Tag Archives: Nazi

The hardest thing

Winston Churchill, Prime Minister of the Unite...

Winston Churchill, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1940 to 1945.

The easiest thing is to quit.

It requires no courage, no effort, no optimism, no reassessment, no analysis, no second attempt, no positive enthusiasm, no uphill battle.

My soccer team practiced on the beach

So much of Europe just surrendered as Nazi tanks rolled in. They didn’t even try to fight for their homeland. But England was whipped into resistance by Winston Churchill. He said: Never, never, never, never, never give up! He promised the Nazis war by air, war by sea, war by land — on the beaches, over the plains, in the forests, in the cities, room by room, if need by, until the last Nazi fell or withdrew.

I coach a high school soccer team. We are small school, so there’s no talent pool. A few are good, another few are athletic, some are total beginners. We go up against some really good teams. Last season, a typical loss was 10-1. This season, some players have already decided that we have lost.

If you KNOW that you are going to lose even before your feet touch the field, then you WILL fulfill your own prophecy. No wonder some of the kids goof-off at practice, crack jokes and skip training. It’s all pointless, anyhow, right?

I think David saw possibility where others saw only death. He wasn’t afraid to take on a 9-foot tall giant named Goliath. And he took him out.

Quitting may be easy. But it provides no reward, no satisfaction, no triumphalism, no heroics, no solace, no hope, no joy. There’s nothing better than winning by upset. To get that, you have to believe in yourself.

‘A hint from heaven’

As a Jew in Nazi-occupied Vienna, Victor Frankl knew the successive deportations would eventually target him. For a while, his profession as head of the neurological department of the Rothschild Hospital, afforded him a kind of temporary protection. Luckily, he got the visa to emigrate to the United States.

But he was thinking about leaving behind his parents. They would have no such escape. Should he flee to the States or stay with his parents? He waited for a “hint from Heaven.”

One day, he asked his dad about a chunk of marble. It was part of the rubble of the synagogue razed by the Nazis, his dad replied. In fact, it was part of the ten commands, he added. By chance, it was part of the fifth commandment: Honor your father and mother…”

This was Frankl´s awaited “hint.” He stayed in Vienna and was eventually deported to a concentration camp. He was one of the few who survived.

Being in ministry — choosing to live with less — requires uncommon courage. It is counter-intuitive; no one understands what you´re doing. Why not flee to the life of money and ease? But inspiration keeps you marching. A “hint from Heaven” is all you need to pursue your calling.