Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Go the Distance!

"Blessed is the man who endures temptation, who perseveres under trial" (James 1:12).

By definition, endurance means to sustain one's capacity and integrity throughout the duration of any kind of ordeal. It means to withstand hardship, adversity, or stress; to remain firm under difficulty without yielding. It means that even though you may bend, you will not break.

This indefatigable spirit was illustrated in the life of one man in particular, who aspired for greatness despite many difficulties. Here is a brief review of his uphill battle....

His first attempt at business failed. He tried politics and within only one year failed there also. He went back to the business sector for yet another try, and failed again. Three failures in three years.

He struggled for the next two years and then suffered a nervous breakdown. After taking two years to recover, he tried once again in the political world and was defeated in his bid to be elected as Speaker of the House. Two years later he made his bid to be appointed as the Elector and was again defeated. Three years after this he ran for a seat in Congress and was defeated.

He waited five years to run for office again, and was again defeated. He spent the next seven years as a relative unknown in the private sector and then ran yet again for a political office -- this time in the Senate. Again, he was defeated.

The following year he was nominated by his party to be the candidate for Vice-President, but was defeated along with his running mate in the general election. After two more years he tried again for the Senate seat but again was defeated. Then, another two years later, in 1860, Abraham Lincoln was elected as the 16th President of the United States!

Add it all up and you have twenty four years of sheer endurance! Ralph Waldo Emerson said: "The hero is no braver than the ordinary man; he just fights five minutes longer."

In a day when so many seem so ready to give up so easily, will you hang in there for just five more minutes? It very well could make all the difference in the world!

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