A Second Wind

Where do the resolute find the ability to go on, never quit, maintain hope?

Our Lord proclaims in The Beatitudes that the meek shall inherit the earth. Why, of course they are. It makes total sense when you consider that the word ‘meek’ is a biblical reference to a Roman soldier’s war horse, one that is self-disciplined and obedient–a paragon of self-restraint.

Are the meek that powerful? Apparently they are. As a small boy, maybe six or seven years old, I remember how tired I would get in the early afternoon, and my sisters would say, “Oh, wait until you get your second wind.’ Not being the master of metaphor at such a young age, I was not sure where this wind would come from, and the adage was lost on one so young, but here’s the point. I can recall how I would get a resurgence of energy before supper. Human physiology aside, I found it a mystery. Where did it come from?

Today I understand what I could not as a little boy about how our human bodies work, but that does not answer the question of human resilience. Where do some of us get the ability to carry on when others give up? Psychologists speak of resiliency factors and quantify their impact on how we can overcome adversity, and they do capture an aspect of truth. I am not sure what is innate for me and my comates in exile, but I believe there is something unique deep in our soul.


I have a simple hunch that faith is built into us, innate, so to speak. I can’t prove it or explain it, but the tenacity of the human spirit arises more often than I thought. We must be the things that dreams are made of.

I can take great comfort in that.

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