I’ve always liked the poem by William Wordsworth titled “Character of the Happy Warrior.” Though not so intended, it is an appropriate charge to Christians who seek God’s strength in their efforts to engage the culture winsomely. Space does not permit me to share it in its entirety, but here are a few poignant verses:

Who is the happy Warrior? Who is he

That every man in arms should wish to be? …

Whose high endeavours are an inward light

That makes the path before him always bright …

Who, doomed to go in company with Pain,

And Fear, and Bloodshed, miserable train!

Turns his necessity to glorious gain …

Finds comfort in himself and in his cause;

And, while the mortal mist is gathering, draws

His breath in confidence of Heaven’s applause:

This is the happy Warrior; this is He

That every Man in arms should wish to be.

As the leader of Focus on the Family, I’ve always seen my role as something akin to the happy warrior. My mood is generally upbeat and optimistic. Even when news reports are discouraging — a daily occurrence — I tend to be optimistic because, to borrow a line from the old Christian spiritual: “He’s got the whole world in His hands.”

Indeed He does.

As a result, we can be confident about tomorrow because we know the One in whose hands tomorrow rests.

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