ADVERTISING
 
Wednesday, July 24   Sign in or Register
 
Evangelical Focus
 

 
 
 
FOLLOW US ON
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Google +
  • Instagram
  • Soundcloud
 

Newsletter
Newsletter, sign up to receive all our News by email.
 
 

POLL
Society
Should Christians join social protests?



SEE MORE POLLS
 

 
TOP 10 MOST VIEWED



René Breuel
 

A long (and sometimes boring) walk to freedom

Life is decided in boring moments as well as in epic ones.

CULTURE MAKING AUTHOR René Breuel 01 SEPTEMBER 2018 18:00 h GMT+1
Nelson Mandela. / Wikimedia Commons.

Nelson Mandela’s autobiography A Long Walk to Freedom was transposed to an epic movie. Epic is indeed a proper adjective for Mandela’s life, who spent a good portion of his adult life fighting the South African apartheid regime.



In Mandela’s eyes, the only sane option was to resist a system which built walls of injustice between black and white people in the country.



He organized an opposition party, wooed mass support, coordinated guerrilla efforts when diplomatic ones were met with indifference, worked during the night to lay low during the day, until he was captured by government forces in 1964. Deemed a threat to the country, he and his companions at the ANC received a life sentence in jail.



His active season had finished; a time of loneliness and reflection was starting. His last speech before his 27 years exile in Robben Island was a chance to take a final stand. Heading to his closing words, Mandela took a moment, faced the court judge in the eyes, and declared,



“During my lifetime I have dedicated myself to this struggle of the African people. I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.”[1]


Mandela used his final public words to confirm his stand behind the cause he fought for. But then, a new season of opportunity opened itself after decades in solitary confinement.



After being released from prison, Mandela was elected president of South Africa in 1994. His struggle for a democratic, equal society achieved its climax.



The challenge of reorganizing a country around a new principle, equality among all, together with its political, economic, social, and geographic ramifications, took him to dramatic action as well as arid cabinet conversations around tea pots and tedious listening to complaints.



Moments a biopic movie, often looking for the grandiose and cinematic, often understates. Routine at the presidential office was surely different than routine as an underground party leader. In his 1994 autobiography, Mandela states that “I have discovered the secret that after climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb.”[2]



He found out, in other words, that life has ample space for the heroic as well as the mundane. Life is decided in boring moments as well as in epic ones. Sometimes the best one can do is to carry out the tasks of the day, have a telephone conversation, fill out a spreadsheet, file a report.



Sometimes we watch an inspiring movie and have just menial tasks to fulfill when we come home.



Yet these moments are important, just as grand moments. Because the verve with which we face habitual duties will be the verve with which we will live the rest of our life. If we crumble before an uneventful day, so will we when it is time to take a life-altering stand, look someone in the eye or be ready to die for something.



[1] Nelson Mandela, quoted in Martin Meredith, The State of Africa: A History of Fifty Years of Independence (London: The Free Press, 2005), 127.



[2] Ibid., 648.


 

 


0
COMMENTS

    If you want to comment, or

 



 
 
YOUR ARE AT: - - - A long (and sometimes boring) walk to freedom
 
ADVERTISING
 
 
 
AUDIOS Audios
 
Ruth Valerio: A lifestyle that cares about creation Ruth Valerio: A lifestyle that cares about creation

Are Christians called to make a difference in environmental care? What has creation care to do with "loving our neighbours"? An interview with the Global Advocacy and Influencing Director of Tearfund.

 
Julia Doxat-Purser: 25 years of EEA office in Brussels Julia Doxat-Purser: 25 years of EEA office in Brussels

An interview with the socio-political representative of the European Evangelical Alliance about how evangelical Christians work at the heart of the European Union.

 
Lars Dahle: Nominal Christianity, a mission field for the church Lars Dahle: Nominal Christianity, a mission field for the church

An interview with Lars Dahle, of the Steering Committee of the Lausanne Movement Global Consultation on Nominal Christianity held in Rome.

 
Testimony: Wildfires near Athens Testimony: Wildfires near Athens

Nico Spies, a Christian worker in Athens, gives details about the wildfires in Greece.

 
PICTURES Pictures
 
IFES World Assembly: ‘Messengers of Hope’ IFES World Assembly: ‘Messengers of Hope’

Students, graduates and staff of the global evangelical student movement reflected together on how the books of Luke and Acts apply to today's universities.

 
Christians at work - the missing link in fulfilling the Great Commission Christians at work - the missing link in fulfilling the Great Commission

Photos of the Lausanne Movement Global Workplace Forum, celebrated in Manila.

 
European Freedom Network Bridge 2019 conference European Freedom Network Bridge 2019 conference

Images of the fifth EFN gathering. Experts, activists, counsellors and church leaders met in Pescara, Italy.

 
Glimpses of the ELF 2019 conference Glimpses of the ELF 2019 conference

Evangelical leaders from across Europe meet in Wisla (Poland) to network for mission in a range of fields. The vision is to renew the biblical church and evangelise Europe.

 
‘Small churches, big potential for transformation’ ‘Small churches, big potential for transformation’

Photos of the Spanish Evangelical Alliance’s annual gathering “Idea 2019”, in Murcia. Politicians and church leaders discussed about the role of minorities in society.

 
VIDEO Video
 
Practical ways to bring Christians from different generations together Practical ways to bring Christians from different generations together

What if young people were on church committees? asks David Hilborn, Principal of St John's College (UK).

 
Evangelical students from around the world gather in South Africa Evangelical students from around the world gather in South Africa

A short video summary of the International Fellowship of Evangelical Students (IFES) World Assembly, July 3-10.

 
GWF in Manila: “Kingdom building requires global collaboration” GWF in Manila: “Kingdom building requires global collaboration”

850 from 108 countries met for the Global Workplace Forum, June 25-29. The gathering was organised by the Lausanne Movement. “Every workplace is a place of ministry”.

 
Luis Palau arrives in Madrid for first overseas outreach since his diagnosis of cancer Luis Palau arrives in Madrid for first overseas outreach since his diagnosis of cancer
At the invitation of hundreds of churches in Spain, the Luis Palau Association are sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ in Madrid, June 15-23, 2019, through numerous outreach events and a 2-day family festival in the heart of the city.
 
What are the most important truths that Christians should seek to convey in a secular context? What are the most important truths that Christians should seek to convey in a secular context?

Espen Ottosen talks about the truths Christians should share with people who have little knowledge and/or many prejudices about Christian belief.  

 
 
Follow us on Soundcloud
Follow us on YouTube
 
 
WE RECOMMEND
 
PARTNERS
 

 
AEE
EVANGELICAL FOCUS belongs to Areópago Protestante, linked to the Spanish Evangelical Alliance (AEE). AEE is member of the European
Evangelical Alliance and World Evangelical Alliance.
 

Opinions expressed are those of their respective contributors and do not necessarily represent the views of Evangelical Focus.