Sunday, January 14, 2007

Hard To Stop

I’ve been reading a biography of President Teddy Roosevelt and I’ve found him to be a fascinating man. He did more in his lifetime than others might dream ever about. In fact, the things he did with regularity might be the one dreamed of accomplishment on other men’s list.

In March 1909 Roosevelt left New York for a safari in Africa. The trip was sponsored by the Smithsonian Institution and the National Geographic Society and received worldwide media attention.

His party, which included scientists from the Smithsonian, killed or trapped over 11,397 animals, from insects and moles to hippopotamuses and elephants. 512 of the animals were big game animals, of which 262 were consumed by the expedition. This included six white rhinos.

All of this was done after he had served two terms as President of the United States!

While campaigning in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on October 14, 1912, a saloonkeeper named John Schrank failed in an assassination attempt on Roosevelt.

Schrank shot the former President, but the bullet lodged in Roosevelt's chest only after hitting both his steel eyeglass case and a copy of his speech he was carrying in his jacket. Roosevelt declined suggestions that he go to the hospital, and delivered his scheduled speech.

He spoke vigorously for ninety minutes and his opening comments to the gathered crowd were, "I don't know whether you fully understand that I have just been shot; but it takes more than that to kill a Bull Moose." Afterwards, doctors determined that he was not seriously wounded and that it would be more dangerous to attempt to remove the bullet than to leave it in his chest. Roosevelt carried it with him until he died ( ).

Roosevelt was simply hard to stop.

I like that attitude. I want to adopt that attitude in my life.

One of my favorite poems is entitled, “Don’t Quit”.

When things go wrong, as they sometimes will

When the road you're trudging seems all uphill
When the funds are low and the debts are high
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh
When care is pressing you down a bit
Rest if you must, but don't you quit.
Life is queer with its twists and turns
As every one of us sometimes learns
And many a fellow turns about
When he might have won, had he stuck it out.
Don't give up though the pace seems slow
You may succeed with another blow.
Often the goal is nearer than
It seems to a faint and faltering man;
Often the struggler has given up
When he might have captured the victor's cup;
And he learned too late when the night came down
How close he was to the golden crown.
Success is failure turned inside out
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt
And you never can tell how close you are
It may be near when it seems afar;
So stick to the fight when you're hardest hit
It's when things seem worst that you mustn't quit.

(Author Unknown)

The attitude of that poem is one that will carry an individual through the toughest of circumstances.

No one denies the presence of negative influences. No one disavows that wrongs are committed. No one dismisses that actual injuries have been inflicted upon our spirits. No one will refute that some have been handed a raw deal in life.

What we will do, however, is refuse to allow those things to claim authority over the course we will travel in life. We will refuse them the ability to dictate our present response and future results. We will say, “It is well” even when it is not well.

There was a woman in the Bible simply identified as a Shunammite woman. One day her son, who was a child promised of God to her, fell sick and died. She ran to the man of God and his servant asked her, “Is it well with thee? Is it well with they husband? Is it well with the child?’

Now, the truth is, things did not look well.

She was in great distress and fearful, her husband didn’t care enough to help their son, even so much as questioning her intentions in running to the man of God, and her son was dead.

Things did not appear to be well. In fact, I am not sure I would not have answered the old prophet differently. However, her answer is indicative of her faith and complete reliance on her God. She answered the man by saying, “It is well!” ( ).

It is well. Three little words that make a big difference.

I want that to be my new motto of faith for my life. It is well.

Things will get better. God is aware of my circumstances. I will make it through. Not around, not over or under, but I will make it through!

It is well.

After all, it takes a lot more than a bullet to the chest to stop a bull moose and it takes a lot more than a little adversity to stop a child of God!

1 comment:

Carol said...

come read my latest.

Love Mom