Saturday, November 22, 2014

My Slogan: 'Keep Calm and Press On'

This post is to officially announce my life slogan. 

“Hakuna Matata” has always been my motto since I was able to understand what a motto means.  During the time I was about to get to my silver anniversary – a notable life milestone – I contemplated if there’s a need for me to change my motto as I move forward with my life, but I arrive at the conclusion that there’s no need; “Hakuna Matata” is still appropriate at this point in my life. 

So with “Hakuna Matata” already at hand, why is there a need for a life slogan?  Well, basically, a motto is different from a slogan.  A motto is a brief statement that serves as the guiding principle or philosophy that one has to live by.  A slogan is more of a catchphrase that pushes an agenda or cause.  Therefore, the purpose of a life slogan is to promote in my life the cause that I have to live on and to pump me up as I progress with my life. 

If it’s still not apparent from the title of this post and the T-shirt I’m wearing in the photo above, my life slogan is “KEEP CALM AND PRESS ON.” 

“Keep Calm and Press On” is just another play with the “Keep Calm and…” meme, in which particular revisions are made on the original “Keep Calm and Carry On” slogan done by the UK government during the financial crisis back in the late 2000’s. Nonetheless, “Keep Calm and Press On” is almost similar in function as the original “Keep Calm and Carry On.”  Both basically mean that in the presence of excitement and difficulties, we should just remain calm and just continue moving forward.  It gives an optimistic message that no matter how hard and chaotic the situation is now, we will get through it.    Somehow, we’ll manage.  Somehow, we’ll overcome.

However, even if the implication of my life slogan is virtually similar to the original UK slogan, I still prefer to use the phrase “Press On” rather than “Carry On.” “Press On” alludes to what the Apostle Paul has stated on Philippians 3:7-14:
    But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ-the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith. I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead.
     Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.  Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
Despite the tremendous amount of hardships and struggles that he had undergone in his life, Paul remained enthusiastic, resolute, and kept moving forward.  Why?  For he understood the great value of this future prize that God has set for him in Heaven, and that no earthly pleasure or glory can ever come close in matching that.  So he worked hard for the glory of God – storing riches in Heaven that will last for eternity – rather than seeking earthly pleasures and glory that are all temporary anyway.  In everything, he gave it his all, no matter what.  He knew that every sacrifice, every pain, every drop of effort, is going to be worth it; the glory and happiness that he would receive as reward far outweigh the sufferings that he experienced in this world while working for God’s glory.

Paul doggedly pressed on towards an upward prize, and didn’t get distracted by anything that this temporary world gives, whether temporal enjoyment or suffering.  Thus, by pressing on towards the Prize, his life became meaningful.  So for my life to be meaningful, I should follow the example that he has set.

I definitely won’t be able to do it with the same extent and quality as Paul’s, and there are times I completely forget about it that I ended up being a hypocrite.  But I just have to keep on trying; rise up each time I fail, and move forward again; don’t panic; and do the best I can and be the best I can be.  

This is what “Keep Calm and Press On” reminds me of.

Everything in this world is temporary.  Both earthly pleasures and pains will pass.  Therefore, I should not focus on the things of this world   No matter how bad my problems are, I should not let myself be drowned in them and despair – be calm.  And no matter how delightful earthly pleasures and personal glory are, I should not ground my ultimate satisfaction in them, pursuing them instead of heavenly rewards. 

My focus should be on the Prize.  If it’s for the glory of God, then I should go all out.  No holding back.  And no matter how hard the circumstances are, I should keep moving forward.  Even crawl if I have to.  Press on towards the Prize, no matter what. 

For the pains and the pleasures of this world are nothing compared to this immensely glorious Prize that God wants me to enjoy in Heaven.  Everything is going to be worth it.

In the Bible, the “crown” has several times served as symbol for heavenly rewards.  If the crown on top of the art design of the “Keep Calm and Carry On” campaign is any indication, then it’s definitely meant to be tailored for the context of my life’s slogan.

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