Leopold Karpeles was unflappable. Karpeles was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for heroism in the Civil War. He was a color bearer. Carrying the flag may sound harmless, but it was a two-handed job. If you held the flag you wielded no weapon. Karpeles said, “I am aware that while I’m providing a rallying point and courage for my comrades, I’m also a prime target for the enemy. I vowed to accept that risk …. If my future rests under this earth rather than upon it, I fear not.”
Rosa Parks was unflappable. Most historians date the beginning of the modern civil rights movement in the United States to December 1, 1955, when this unknown seamstress in Montgomery, Alabama refused to give up her bus seat to a white passenger. Parks was arrested and fined for violating a city ordinance, but her lonely act of defiance began a movement that ended legal segregation in America.
Joe Montana was unflappable. Larry Swartz (ESPN.com) said: “He possessed an almost mystical calmness in the midst of chaos, especially with the game on the line …. While others saw turmoil and danger … Montana saw opportunity. He was Joe Cool, the unflappable king of the comeback."
I want to be unflappable. I want to be a person of unflappable faith!
- I don’t want changing circumstances to change my character.
- I don’t want the direction of the DOW to determine my disposition.
- I don’t want a political process to pummel my peace.
- I don't want unhappy people to make me an unhappy person.
I want to be an unmoved, unruffled, and untroubled person of unflappable faith!
I am sure that you do too!
What's the secret? While I learn from the likes of Karpeles, Parks, and Montana, I take my cues from the book of Lamentations (most likely written by Jeremiah). Jeremiah was a prophet of God at a time when the people of God didn't want a prophetic message. He witnessed atrocities in his nation and suffered humility as its citizen. Lesser people would have shut up and given up. Not Jeremiah.
His secret? God's faithfulness!
Remember my affliction and my wanderings, the wormwood and the gall! My soul continually remembers it and is bowed down within me. But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
Jeremiah did not turn a blind eye to the difficulties of life. He acknowledged them. At the same time he was not going to be consumed by the hard times. His hope was riveted on the faithfulness of God. Because God was faithful, Jeremiah was expecting new mercies for new troubles. That certainty helped him press on with unflappable confidence.
What troubles are you facing? Go ahead, name them! But then make that conscientious choice to turn your gaze from the problem to the Lord. Acknowledge God's love and faithfulness.
He is going show up and show off new mercies for your new challenges. It is who He is. It is what He does. He never changes.