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Slow and Steady Wins the Race

Abraham Lincoln said, “I walk slowly, but I never walk backwards.” He is remembered as one of the greatest Presidents.  In our rapid pace of the 21st century, “activity” is a given.  Productivity is not guaranteed.  If we fill our days with lots of “busyness” that does not necessarily equate to great achievement.  We don’t always commend those that seemingly are “cool, calm, and collected” and that quietly go about life with great consistency and discipline.  Those are often the great achievers that accomplish magnificent things with no fanfare.

We have known people that surely did seem dull and slow in school.  It appeared that they lacked any initiative.  Sadly, those children were often the butt of the jokes and mercilessly teased. They appeared to be “out of it”, dull, and totally boring.  But, as adults, they became highly successful in their life’s ventures.  Here are some of those famous folks that did not appear promising at the outset…..

        Winston Churchill seemed so dull as a youth that his father thought he might be incapable of earning a living in England. Charles Darwin did so poorly in school that his father once told him, “You will be a disgrace to yourself and all your family.”

       G.K. Chesterton, the English writer, could not read until he was eight. One of his teachers told him, “If we could open your head we should not find any brain but only a lump of white fat.”

       Thomas Edison’s first teacher described him as “addled,” and his father almost convinced him he was a “dunce.”

       Albert Einstein’s parents feared their child was dull, and he performed so badly in all high school courses except mathematics that a teacher asked him to drop out.  (Irving Wallace, Book of Lists, 1986, Wm. Morrow & Co., New York, New York).

Scripture calls on Christians to be “steadfast, unmovable” (1 Cor.15:58); “run your race with patience” [endurance] (Heb.12:1-2); “….being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience” (Col. 1:11).

Author Irving Stone has spent a lifetime studying greatness, writing novelized biographies of such men as Michelangelo, Vincent van Gogh, Sigmund Freud and Charles Darwin. Stone was once asked if he had found a thread that runs through the lives of all these exceptional people. He said, “I write about people who sometime in their life…have a vision or dream of something that should be accomplished…and they go to work.

        “They are beaten over the head, knocked down, vilified and for years they get nowhere. But every time they’re knocked down they stand up. You cannot destroy these people. And at the end of their lives they’ve accomplished some modest part of what they set out to do.”   (Copied).

Hard work, persistence, and daily dedication to the task bear tremendous dividends. It was Spurgeon that wrote, “By perseverance, the snail reached the Ark.”  And, I don’t know who provided us with this simple proverb….”Triumph is just “umph” added to “try”.   Never forget the Lord’s promise that we win for “we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us”. (1 Cor.15:58).