Archive for December 13th, 2007

Final Boarding Call (4 of 5)

In Rome, we toured the Colosseum, the most famous monument of Ancient Rome.  When I walked through the entrance passing thick stone walls into the amphitheatre, chill bumps rose on my skin.  There was something eerie about the place.  Like the screams of the crowds still hung in the air, caught there in a time force unbreakable by the years of neglect. 


If you’ve seen Gladiator, or Ben-Hur then you are familiar with the Roman Colosseum and the deadly games that took place there.  What you might not be familiar with is a man named Telemachus.


Telemachus was a monk who spent most of his life shut up in a room immersed in his disciplines.  After years of study God called him to enter back into society and minister to the people of Rome.  He arrived in Rome as the holiday festivals were going on.  Deciding to follow the crowd and observe, Telemaches found himself in the midst of the Colosseum and watched as the gladiators battled to their deaths. 


Enraged with a righteous anger, he finally climbed down into the arena shouting, “In the name of Christ, forbear!” Upsetting the crowd, they shouted for Telemachus to be killed. 


With his last breath, Telemachus proclaimed in his loudest voice, “In the name of Christ, forbear!” and then his lifeless body fell to the ground. 


Then, a strange thing happened—an odd silence fell across the Colosseum, the crowd became still.  One by one, the eyes of the mob opened.  Somewhere in the crowd a father walked out with his sons, then another family, then a couple individuals.  One at a time people continued to leave the theater until the Colosseum was deserted, finally grasping the horror of the sport they once celebrated. 


That was the last gladiatorial battle ever to be fought in the Roman Colosseum. 


Sometimes it’s easy to think we can’t make a difference.  We argue, “I’m one person, no one special, what can I do to make an impact?”  But the lesson stands in Telemachus, a man who held strongly to his convictions and was able to be used by God. 


Do you struggle with the lie you can’t be used?  Have you made excuses like the ones above?  What do you believe God might be calling you to do for HIM? 

colosseum.JPGPhotograph taken by Anna Meadows Copyright 2004

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