Strength can be seen as the ability to carry on, regardless.
Physical strength is easy to see: the athlete who wins a gold medal, the manual worker using his muscle to get the job done.
Less easy to see, but much more important is the mental strength that we can all have.
For the athlete, it will not only be their physical training that helps them win through, but also the mental preparedness, and the singleness of purpose in training day after day. The mind has to be trained along with the body, strength in one area matched with the other, in order to win that medal.
For all of us, however, strength comes in different forms.
There is the strength that a parent must show to carry on bringing up their offspring; the strength that it takes to say no to that child when they want something that will harm them; and the strength to let them find their own way and make their own mistakes when that time comes.
And sometimes there is the strength needed to say that we are overwhelmed – that our strength has failed us. It can be hard to admit that we cannot do something, that we cannot by our own unaided will do all that we want to do.
It seems contrary to think that way – is not the way of strength to carry on and carry on? Is that not to be admired?
I think that to use our strength to the best of our ability is a needful thing to do. But there is also the point at which our strength is exhausted, where we have used all our strength to no avail.
At that point, it needs a strong person to admit the truth – because sometimes the truth is that our strength is insufficient to carry us through. In this journey of life sometimes we are the driver, and sometimes the passenger. Sometimes we give strength to other, and at other times we take strength from them.
Because we are not alone in this life, we have others on this journey with us. There will be points in our lives where we need to give all we have to the fight, but there are also times when the courageous thing is to give up.
Sometimes strength is to carry on carrying on – but sometimes it can take strength to admit that we need help.