When I was in high school, I wanted to play football. Folks that knew me and my personality said I wouldn’t make it, said I was too soft, said I wouldn’t stick with it long enough to succeed. I never played high school football. And with all due respect to those naysayers and their opinions, the reason I didn’t play football was that my high school didn’t have a football team.
I was told that the way to succeed in life was to have a goal and work hard to achieve it. Perseverance, that’s the key. I agree with the idea. I don’t see much in life that is worth anything that doesn’t require hard work. Perseverance produces not only the sought after result, but also the added reward of achievement, the satisfaction of a job well done.
The problem comes in thinking that hard work and perseverance are the only parts of the equation. An opportunity must be present. Regardless of my desire to play football, the fact remains that my high school did not offer that opportunity. I could have spent my days working hard to be a great player but still would not have played.
In my pursuit to become a better writer, I have been privileged to meet several published authors. Some have published many books and articles, and have had great financial success. Others have not. Did the former work harder than the latter? No, they didn’t. I examined the lives of both and found that each worked equally hard with the opportunities they were given. The difference came in the type and amount of opportunities each were given.
We should never be discouraged by the accomplishments of another. We should only be concerned that we made the most of the opportunities we were given. As followers of Christ, our definition of success is the answer to the question, did I do my best to accomplish what He asked of me.
Oh, that we would all hear Him say one day, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”