Hebrews 12:1 NIV
There’s a story about a traveller who met a wise man along the road and asked him, ‘Where’s the road to success?’ The wise man didn’t speak but instead pointed to a place off in the far distance. The traveller, thrilled at the prospect of quick and easy success, rushed off in that direction. When – splat! Down he went! He limped back, bruised and stunned. Assuming he must have misinterpreted the message, he repeated his question, and again the philosopher pointed silently in the same direction. So the traveller took off once more. This time the splat was deafening. Crawling back bruised, broken, and irate, he shouted at the wise man, ‘I asked you which way is success! I followed the direction you indicated, and all I got was splattered! No more pointing – talk!’ Only then did the wise man speak. ‘Success is that way. It’s just a little beyond the splat.’
The fact is, all of us have experienced ‘the splat’ – that moment when we fall, or hit an obstacle that stops us in our tracks. There’s no way to avoid it. But it’s what we do after the splat that makes all the difference. And perseverance always wins.
The Bible says: ‘Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.’ Champion racer Rick Mears is attributed with saying: ‘To finish first, you must first finish.’ So if we fall, we need to get up again and keep going.
American educator Hamilton Holt said: ‘Nothing worthwhile comes easily. Half effort does not produce half results. It produces no results. Work, continuous work and hard work, is the only way to accomplish results that last.’ So today, let’s resolve to keep persevering, and keep going past our ‘splat’ moments.
1 Ki 18:16-20:43; Mark 12:28-44; Ps 113; Prov 12:15-17
Hebrews 12:1 NIV
The story is told of a traveler who met a guru along the road and asked him, “Where’s the road to success?” The bearded sage didn’t speak but instead pointed to a place off in the far distance. The man, thrilled at the prospect of quick and easy success, rushed off in the appropriate direction. Splat! Down he went! He limped back, bruised and stunned. Assuming he must have misinterpreted the message, he repeated his question, and again the philosopher pointed silently in the same direction. So the traveler took off once more. This time the splat was deafening. Crawling back bloody, broken, and irate, he shouted at the guru, “I asked you which way is success! I followed the direction you indicated, and all I got was splattered! No more pointing – talk!” Only then did the sage speak. “Success is that way. It’s just a little beyond the splat.”
The fact is, all of us have experienced “the splat.” There’s no way to avoid it. But it’s what we do after the splat that makes all the difference. And perseverance always wins. The Bible says: “Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” Champion racer Rick Mears is attributed with saying: “To finish first, you must first finish.” So if you’ve fallen, get up again and keep going.
American educator Hamilton Holt said: “Nothing worthwhile comes easily. Half effort does not produce half results. It produces no results. Work, continuous work and hard work, is the only way to accomplish results that last.” So the word for you today is – keep persevering and you’ll win.
Soul food: 1 Ki 18:16-20:43; Mark 12:28-44; Ps 113; Prov 12:15-17
Matthew 25:23 NIV
To succeed in life you need thick skin when it comes to handling criticism. It’s what separates those who say they want success from those who are prepared to pay for it. For example, if you’ve been praying for a mate to share your life, ask yourself if you’re prepared for the sacrifice and responsibility that comes with marriage. Are you stable? Are you unselfish? Are you mature enough to provide for a family? Or if you’re asking God to increase your business, are you providing outstanding service to your existing clients? Someone quipped: “A peacock that rests on its feathers is just another turkey!”
Sometimes we’re in love with the image of success, but we haven’t counted the actual cost of succeeding. It’s a good thing God doesn’t automatically give us everything we ask for. Often we want something because it looks good in someone else’s life. But God in His wisdom knows that right now it would hurt us because we’re not mature enough to handle it.
God tests us with what we have, in order to develop our consistency and strength. He observes how we handle the pressures that accompany the blessings He’s already given us. He wants to bring us to the place where we’re impervious to adversity; where we’ve learned to appreciate the giver more than His gifts. When we reach that point, we’ll hear Him say, “You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!” (v. 23 NIV). Those words will make everything you’ve been through worthwhile.
Soul food: Num 30:1-32:24; Mark 7:24-37; Ps 44:9-16; Prov 11:10-11
Romans 8:31 NKJV
Some of the world’s greatest people faced the world’s greatest challenges, but they overcame them. Cripple a man, and you have Sir Walter Scott. Lock him in prison, and you have John Bunyan. Raise him in abject poverty, and you have Abraham Lincoln. Subject him to bitter religious prejudice, and you have Benjamin Disraeli. Strike him down with paralysis, and you have Franklin Roosevelt. Have them born black in the society filled with racial discrimination, and you have Booker T. Washington, Harriet Tubman, Marian Anderson and George Washington Carver. Make a man the first child to survive in a poor Italian family of eighteen, and you have Enrico Caruso. Have him born to parents who survived a Nazi concentration camp, paralyze him from the waist down when he’s aged four, and you have the incomparable violinist, Itzhak Perlman. Call a man a slow learner, mentally challenged, and write him off as un-educatable, and you have Albert Einstein. Helen Keller was born blind and deaf, yet she graduated college with highest honors and impacted the world. Margaret Thatcher, England’s first woman Prime Minister, lived upstairs over her father’s grocery store. For a while her childhood home had no running water and no indoor plumbing. Golda Meier, Israel’s first and only woman Prime Minister was a divorced grandmother from Milwaukee.
What do these people teach us? That success doesn’t depend on our circumstances, but on overcoming our circumstances! And with God on our side we can do it! Paul, one of the world’s great over-comers wrote, “If God be for us, who can be against us?”
Soul food: Isa 45-48; Matt 11:20-30; Ps 107:23-32; Prov 3:25-26
Isaiah 50:7 NKJV
Prize fighter James Corbett was once asked: “What’s the most important thing for a man to do to become a champion?” He replied, “Fight one more round.” Successful people have different talents, but they all have these qualities: perseverance, tenacity, and stick-to-it-iveness.
Thomas Grey wrote seventy-five drafts of “Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard” before he was satisfied with his poetic masterpiece. S.N. Behrman, the American playwright, wrote plays for eleven years before he sold a single one. Somerset Maugham earned only five hundred dollars in his first ten years as a writer. While working full time in a factory, Enrico Caruso studied voice for twelve years before becoming a successful performer. George Gershwin composed almost one hundred melodies before he sold his first one – for five dollars.
There’s an important lesson for you in each of these stories: If your dream doesn’t come true immediately, don’t get discouraged. Continue to pursue your craft and develop your talent. Study and learn. Grow by experience. Keep working. Victory goes to the man or woman who is willing to “fight one more round.” When you quit, God can do no more for you. But when you persevere, He will come to your aid.
Note what His Word says: “The Lord God will help Me; therefore I shall not be disgraced; therefore I have set My face like a flint, and I know that I will not be ashamed.” When does God promise to help you? When you set your face like a flint.
Soul food: Exo 39-40; Matt 8:10-17; Ps 84; Prov 2:16-19