I recall reading To Kill a Mocking Bird when it was first released and one of the things I picked up, based on a knowledge of people was simple; when you accept an assignment give it your very best. Modern scholars go to great lengths to point out the character flaws in Atticus Finch. By today’s standards he comes short. By the standards of his time, he was normal. Yet despite his racist leaning, he saved his client from the gallows! Who can forget his statement to Scout?
“I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It's when you know you're licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and see it through no matter what. You rarely win, but sometimes you do.”
Atticus Finch. Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird.
I grasped a truth in 1960, two years prior to my conversion to Christ that has stuck by me for over 50 years. The truth is revealed in Scripture and many songs. This truth was communicated via the fictional Atticus Finch. Here’s one verse:
Ecclesiastes 9:10 “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.”
Solomon let us know that life counts, and when we leave this physical existence, our struggles of this world are over, so get with it with gusto.
May I challenge you? Can you send a list of truth verses in the Bible that teach that we should take on challenges, like the one assigned to Atticus, and then go at it halfheartedly, to me? I doubt that you can find even one. So, where does the modern malaise of living life in a lukewarm manner, come from? Keep in mind the most severely reprimanded group in the Bible is the group of believers in the church at Laodicea. Rev. 3:14-22.
Whatever may have been “wrong” with the fictional Atticus, his ethic of giving your best to what you do, is the primary attitude modern scholars seem to align themselves against. History will record this era in U.S. History as the age of Half Hearted Harry’s and Harriot’s. Yes, I am tempted to use a different body part.
An old song had it, “Do what you do, do well son, do what you do well.”
Copyright © 2017 Larry Lilly
Pro IT work. Oral Deckard