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Do Your Very Best

The old expression states that “you have to get up mighty early to fool me!”  When someone that is savvy and “has been around the block” a few times makes that statement, it would be wise to believe that they are very much aware of what is going on around them most all of the time.  Rarely does a person that has worked with students have a student pull a prank that is “new” or is not immediately traced to the prankster.

One enterprising group of college students tried to literally manage time, but in the end it came back to haunt them. At this particular university the rule was that if the professor had not arrived in class within the first fifteen minutes of the hour, class was considered a “walk” and the students were free to leave – with no penalties for missing class. 

The rooms this school were equipped with the old style clocks where the minute hand mechanically ticked ahead after each minute. Some of the students discovered that they could cause the clock to jump ahead one minute if they hit it with an eraser from the black board. The professor of this class was not the most punctual so it became a ritual for these students to take target practice at the clock. After a few well-aimed erasers hit their target, bingo, 15 minutes had passed and the class walked. 

At the end of the semester the final exam rolled around. The professor strolled into the room and passed out the test. He said, “You have one hour to complete it.” He then proceeded to collect all the erasers in the room and gleefully took aim at the clock. When he had successfully jumped the clock ahead one-hour, the professor called “time’s up” and collected the exam papers.  (Copied).

If we were honest, we rarely get away with much in our lives no matter our age.  When we seem to think we are taking a shortcut to success, we discover that that path has been traveled before and led to disappointment.  No matter what the activity, if we fail to follow the prescribed route to accomplishing the goal, we will most often fall short and, if we are allowed to do so, we will then have to do it a second time and follow the correct path to achieving the goal.

As Americans, we long for “quick fixes”, instant cures, immediate responses, and rapid communication and correction of something that is not working properly.  We zip through life as if we were on our way to a fire and fill our days to the max as if there truly was “no tomorrow”. We eat poorly and wonder why we are overweight, out of shape, and have multiple health issues.  Most folks don’t like to read and grow in their thought processes and vocabulary size…then, they are perplexed that it seems to be hard to talk to people.

There are very few short cuts to being successful in any area of life.   A motivational speaker of a couple of decades ago named Zig Ziglar was a master of inspiration.  One illustration that I remember that he used to tell his listeners….”When you hear someone say to a person that has achieved success that “they surely paid a high price to succeed”, simply respond, “The price was not as high as failure would have been.”

Galatians 6:8 – Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful nature will harvest decay and death from that sinful nature. But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit.