Not long ago I was walking to a restaurant in the Short North and came across a plague in the window of a store with the catchphrase Keep Calm and Carry On. I really had no idea where it came from and why there was a crown on the top of the plaque until I did some research. I discovered that it was catchphrase that originally appeared on a World War II-era British public safety poster, hence the crown! It was intended to be used to strengthen morale in the event of a large-scale attack or occupation, which many considered inevitable at the time. Though more than million of these posters were originally commissioned, the poster was distributed only in limited numbers, and never saw public display. After the war ended the posters were kept in storage where most were destroyed.
However in 2000, Stuart Manley and his wife Mary found a poster folded at the bottom of a box of old books they purchased at an auction for their bookshop. Not knowing its origins, the couple had it framed and hung it in the shop, where they began selling prints of it the following year. It caught on and has since been used as the template for a number of popular phrases, Keep Calm and _________.
Well needless to say I bought the plague with the original saying and it now hangs on our wall at home. It’s a reminder that God doesn’t “grade” us on success as the world defines success but rather on our faithfulness. Jesus didn’t say “be successful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life.” rather He said, “Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life.” Revelation 2:10.
So sometimes it’s a victory just to get out of bed and show up, whether it’s attending one more class, changing one more diaper, fixing one more meal, making one more call, preparing one more message. Keep Calm and Carry On,” until He comes!