Walter Chalmers Smith 1824–1908 penned the famous hymn “Immortal Invisible, God only wise” but few know that his second stanza's first two words were quoted by Adolf Hitler in his description of the game of cricket.
Very few people know that Adolph Hitler played cricket when recuperating from injury at the end of WWI (there were British POWs nearby). He was recuperating from being gassed and would walk across to the the British POW camp and watch the cricket matches.
Having done this for some time, he challenged the Brits to a game and gave cricket the insightful motto: (Ohne Hast, ohne Rast)—'Unhasting, Unresting'.
That is the reverse order of Walter Chamber Smith's start of his second stanza which reads:
Unresting, unhasting, and silent as light
Nor wanting, nor wasting, Thou rulest in might
Thy justice like mountains high soaring above
They clouds which are fountains of goodness and love.
In Hitler's book Mein Kampf, initially published in 1925, he details how for a six week period prior to WWI he became acquainted with the Austrian/German Confessing Evangelical Church attending services and singing along heartily.
Although he speaks in a derogatory way of his experiences in that six week window where he was obviously looking for meaning, if not searching for a purpose to his life, he certainly did not forget some of which he heard and later was able to recall in very different contexts.
Years later, we discover from the many eye witnesses and first hand encounters, that when master of Germany, his memory retention was impossibly phenomenal as it either astonished or annoyed those who were the recipients of word-perfect memory.
One only has to reflect with a modicum of cricket knowledge to realise how 'spot-on' those two words describe the game—it is precisely that—unresting, yet unhasting.
When Walter Chambers Smith penned his famous hymn “Immortal Invisible, God only Wise” all those years before WWI inspired by 1 Timothy chapter 1, verses 17: “Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory forever and ever”—he was capturing a remarkable truth of the Christian walk.
Our walk with Christ is very much a component of these two powerful images.
There is a sense in which the Christian walk is in 'continual motion' from the depths of our heart as we ponder and seek the Lord's touch upon our every decision in our lives.
Yet, there is also a sense in which, in this walk with the Lord, we're encouraged to be still, to engage the Spirit of God within our every essence of being, and allow His love and passion and guidance to engulf our lives in such a way, that there is no need for rush.
How many times do we read whether from Jesus' lips or in the Letters to the Churches or in the Epistles, “Peace”…yet within that word comes the essence of walking with the Lord—unhasting, unresting …..
These two words convey very powerful images.
It is to this image that the Laguna Quays Respite cottage for missionaries/church workers (pastors, missioners, chaplains ...) was established in 2011 as a gift from the Lord—in order to recharge their batteries (as it were).
Delma Tronson says of Laguna Quays Respite, “It is a place for quietness, peace, stillness, relaxing the soul, body and spirit, yet one can still read in the shade and on-shore breezes, enjoy serene walks on the beach, be actively quiet and reflecting on life's aspirations, dreams—where you have been, where you want to go, in prayer, praise enjoying God's handiwork.”
Dr Mark Tronson is a Baptist minister (retired) who served as the Australian cricket team chaplain for 17 years (2000 ret) and established Life After Cricket in 2001. He was recognised by the Olympic Ministry Medal in 2009 presented by Carl Lewis Olympian of the Century. He mentors young writers and has written 24 books, and enjoys writing. He is married to Delma, with four adult children and grand-children.
Mark Tronson's archive of articles can be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/mark-tronson.html