I saw a great movie today – Invictus. In case you haven’t seen it, I won’t spoil it for you. Just know Clint Eastwood directed it. As far as I’m concerned, that’s reason enough to go see it. Basically, it’s a story about Nelson Mandela during his term as President of South Africa. It’s also about rugby.
And it’s not about Nelson Mandela or rugby. It’s about leadership, change, risk taking, hope, reconciliation, trusting in humanity, faith, wisdom, brokenness, poetry, forgiveness and the power of words.
I love the power of words.
As you can imagine from the title of this movie – some of the powerful words in it include this great Henley poem.
Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find me, unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate;
I am the captain of my soul.
Hearing and reading this poem again just plain stirred me. It made me think about the words I return to over and over when I need strength, reminders or a reality check. If I had to pick one single line from literature, poetry or a song that I’d call my favorite, it would be from Tolkien – “Not all those who wander are lost.” In fact one of the few pieces of jewelry I regularly wear is a ring that carries this message.
What single line , verse or passage works for you?