The man who famously admonished an audience to “Never, never give up” celebrates his birthday today. For history buffs or quotation masters you know that I’m referring to Winston Churchill. Churchill, who was Great Britain’s prime minister during World War 2 is perhaps as famous for his witty (some may say sarcastic) sayings as he is for his leadership of a country in peril. An example of the former – rumor has it that at a party a aristocratic lady remarked to him “Sir, you are drunk.” To which Churchill replied “And you are ugly. But tomorrow I will be sober.” In Churchill’s case, wit didn’t always account for the most gracious response.
This day is especially noteworthy for me because a dear friend and a man I greatly respect, Pastor Ronnie Stevens, is a huge fan of Churchill’s. In fact, Pastor Stevens and I cemented our friendship by debating whether or not Churchill was the greatest leader of the 20th century. More than anything, I think Pastor Stevens was amused that a twenty-something year-old girl would contest him on this issue but as my friends know, despite my aversion to confrontation, I’ve never been one to stay away from a rousing discussion. Now, every year Pastor Steven reminds me of Churchill’s birthday and other milestones in his life.
Not only did Churchill comment on the appearance of his feminine antagonists, but on another birthday, his 75th, he said, “I am ready to meet my Maker. Whether my Maker is prepared for the ordeal of meeting me is another matter.” Regardless of your view on Churchill’s leadership, his theology was probably suspect for whether in this life or the next, our Maker is always prepared to meet with us. In fact, its what He longs for; to have fellowship with His creation and to be glorified through their lives. He created us that we might participate in His glory – the most magnanimous act of love.
I’m not still not convinced that Churchill was the greatest leader of the 20th century. Regardless, I hope he was prepared to meet his Maker. I know his Maker was certainly ready to meet him.