First, I thought the saying, “Keep Calm and Carry On” was coined by Winston Churchill (hence the picture), but it wasn’t. And second, I thought it was a national battle cry during World War II. But,that wasn’t true either.
I was close. Sort of. The slogan was coined pre-WWII by Britain’s Shadow Ministry of Information (the Shadow government is the party not in power) in 1939 in case of war but of the three developed––“Your Courage, Your Cheerfulness, Your Resolution; Will Bring Us Victory” and “Freedom is in Peril; Defend it with all Your Might”, “Keep Calm and Carry On” barely saw the light of day.
It wasn’t until 2000 that an original poster was discovered and then not until 2008 that it became mass produced and then popular. (That is another story in itself.) Suffice it to say that from then on, the world has been Keeping Calm and doing all sorts of things––Smiling, Pretending It’s Not Monday, Being Thankful––and the 2020 take––Washing Your Hands.
Though the original message to the British might have been not to worry, to keep that stiff upper lip and keep calm during adversity, the saying is no less essential today in the U.S.
This has been a year of worry and anger and in light of the upcoming election this Tuesday, and the subsequent results (whenever those might be finalized, so Keep Calm and Be Patient), I think we will see both anger and anxiety surface again … regardless of the result.
Once our ballot is cast, the results are out of our hands, but not God’s. “For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God” (Romans 13:1).
Therefore, we are told to control our anger and release our anxiety:
“Fools give full vent to their rage, but the wise bring calm in the end” (Proverbs 29:11)
“… human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires” (James 1:20)
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:6-7)
As 2020 draws to a close, it doesn’t look like the causes for anxiousness and anger will go away any time soon. But that is no reason for us to cave in to those feelings, regardless of what we believe the future holds. Only God knows what is ahead, so … Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding (Proverbs 3:5).