“We’re too young to realize that certain things are impossible. So we will do them anyway.”
– William Pitt to William Wilberforce in Amazing Grace
William Wilberforce was 21 when he took office in Parliament. William Pitt was 24 and the youngest prime minister in British history when he took office and to this day. When Pitt said this in the movie, he and Wilberforce were both 23. This quote was from the movie, but the lives of the men were more influential than the quote.
They both changed their worlds and the lives of people around the world.
It’s a memorable quote to me because I see the same spirit in many of my friends. The issue at hand is not the British slave trade, but it may be abortion, sexual slavery around the world, the need for Bible translation, reaching a postmodern generation with the good news of Jesus, or any number of other needs around the world. The needs are big, and many would say that they are impossible.
According to Jesus, though, nothing is impossible, though prayer and fasting may be required. That doesn’t seem to deter the people pursuing justice and righteousness. There is a 24-7 prayer house in Washington D.C. where young people pray all day, all night, every day, for an end to abortion. There is an eagerness to do whatever it takes to see God move, a willingness to pray and fast, and an awareness that personal sacrifice will almost certainly be required.
Maybe the grace of youth is hope to an extreme where the grace of age is wisdom and patience. The kingdom of God is designed to go forward on the motion of both graces.